Veronika Scott simply wanted to get an “A” on her product design project. And she did — with an idea that has changed her life and those of countless others. Now, the coat she created that can transform into a sleeping bag is providing warmth to homeless people and jobs for many who used to be so themselves.
Scott, 25, built a nonprofit, the Empowerment Plan, which employs and trains homeless single parents to manufacture the coats that were her project for a class at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies four years ago. She believed the coat could help the city’s sizable homeless population during the brutal winters.
“If I get stuck out in the cold, I can stay warm,” said Timothy Harrington, 34, who recently received one at a shelter in the northern suburb of Pontiac. “(Now) I’ve got something to sleep in, something comfortable.”
Scott employs 19 women as full-time seamstresses and one man, who works in shipping and inventory.