Happy New Year!!
I’ll spare you the new year, new me mantra (insert eyeroll here) I espoused last year around this time. Or the laundry list of resolutions I’d likely break this week. I’ll approach 2016 with Nike philosophy–just do it. And encourage everyone else to do the same.
Before charging toward your goal like a Kardashian stalking a TMZ camera crew, take some notes on how it’s done from Veronika Scott. She’s the 24-year-old Founder and CEO (yaaaasss, honey!!) of Detroit-based non-profit The Empowerment Plan. The org hires homeless women as seamstresses to make coats that transform into sleeping bags for the homeless.
Veronika’s aha! moment came as a result of a college class assignment (she majored in Industrial Design at College for Creative Studies) to “design something to fill actual needs.” After visiting homeless shelters to gage their needs the slumber coats were born. During the day they serve as a normal winter coat and at night a flap is brought down and can be stepped into up to the knees, then zipped up like a regular ol’ sleeping bag.
The Motor City has a homeless population of 34,642, according to Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness. Overall there are over 86,000 people in Michigan without homes and 69 percent are single moms.
Veronika realized her slumber coats were a good start, but not the answer to preventing homelessness. When a woman living in the shelter told her to forfeit the outerwear for some much needed jobs.
Veronika did just that. The Empowerment Plan hires only people living in homeless shelters. And not just as seamstresses they are trained in manufacturing and tech as well. Whatever will help lead them closer to an independent life. The org has it sewed up.
” I believe people can tackle far more than they think they can.” Veronika says.
Thanks to Veronica and all those like her for making the path straighter.