Imagine the coldest day you can remember, the biting wind chilling you to your core. Now imagine spending each day wandering through the city, with no home, no bed, no place to get warm. Empowering homeless people to create their own jobs is progress!

Those are the words of an ingenious, all around great person: Veronika Scott, who founded The Empowerment Plan. Wait until you see what she’s up to!

Veronika’s mission was two-fold: First, developing a product in-house that would serve as both a warm coat and unfold to a warm sleeping bag. And second, help these homeless folks gain some employment. And wouldn’t you know it? They were going to make those coat/sleeping bags!coa

Here’s the story from GAP‘s fantastic channel!

Via: Gap 1

Here’s how Veronika puts it in her press release packet…

(you can read the rest of the press release here):

Over 20,000 homeless Detroiters bear the frigid Michigan winter each year. 1 in every 42 people in the city goes without a basic necessity: warmth. Because of this, shelters are often too overwhelmed and under­supported to help every individual in need. Each day people in need of basic amenities have to fend for themselves on the streets, and in freezing temperatures the difficulty to stay warm is only exacerbated.

The Empowerment Plan employs and trains homeless women to become full time seamstresses, who manufacture a garment that serves as both a coat and a sleeping bag. The coats the women make are then distributed back to homeless individuals within the community at no cost to them. Through training and steady employment these women are able to elevate themselves from the cycle of poverty. Within the first few months of working with the program, we actively help these women and their families move off the streets or out of shelters by finding them secure, furnished housing. These women have empowered themselves with the confidence and skills necessary for a more sustainable, financially stable and healthier life. 2

By starting The Empowerment Plan, Veronika has helped countless homeless people by recognizing and nurturing one of the most basic human needs: to have the pride of being able to take care of oneself.  Here’s more from TEDx about how this amazing story started and the far-reaching results. Inspiring!

Do you know a Veronika doing something wonderful to make the world better? Do you have your own “Veronika idea?” Let us all know about it!

To get involved, check out The today. You can also contact your local soup kitchen, Salvation Army, or church to find out how you can help someone in need this holiday season and beyond to help them back to where they want to be in life: happy, warm, well fed, and feeling secure. You can also learn about The Empowerment Plan here, request a coat for yourself or someone in need by clicking here, or donate to the organization to show your support here.

Thanks for stopping by today. We’ll put a spring in your step again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, stay open, hopeful and curious!

~ Dr. Lynda (EWC founder)

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  1. “One Stitch Closer: Veronika Scott Empowers Other Women.” YouTube. Gap, 14 Mar. 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <>.
  2. Scott, Veronika, “The Empowerment Plan.”, August 2, 2011.
  3. Scott, Veronika. “Empowerment Plan – Bringing Warmth and Pride to the Homeless: Veronika Scott at TEDxSanJoseCA 2012.” YouTube. TEDx Talks, 22 May 2012. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Ever Widening Circles Podcast--new episodes every Thursday!