“She said, ‘We don’t need coats, coats are pointless, we need jobs.’ And really she was completely right, because a coat is just a bandaid for a systemic issue, and what really would have the impact is hiring the population that would need them in the first place. We hire only individuals from homeless shelters, and then we train them…”
The quote above comes from Veronica Scott (taken from the video below), the 24-year old CEO and founder of The Empowerment Plan, whose mission is to educate, employ, and empower homeless individuals to create a better life for themselves and their families, while at the same time producing a humanitarian product for those in need.
“The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the homeless community. Our goal is to help build a better life for those that have become trapped in the cycle of homelessness. We mostly hire homeless parents from local shelters to become full time seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and gain back their independence for themselves and for their families.” (source)
Below is a great video titled “One Stitch Closer” showing how she empowers other women and has created a business around the idea of cooperation and service to others — something I like to call a ‘conscious corporation.’ We are starting to see more of this kind of ethical model, where the driving force behind the creation of a business is to enact some sort of change or have a positive impact, while the intention to make money, although necessary to keep going, takes a back seat.
This year, The Empowerment Plan will be making approximately 6,500 coats. They’ve made over 9,000 coats this year alone, since they began in 2011. They are currently employing 20 previously homeless individuals.
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