This Coat Changes Into A Sleeping Bag And Changes Lives!

This Coat Changes Into A Sleeping Bag And Changes Lives!

January 8, 2016


Gregg Prescott, M.S.

To help homeless people stay warm in the winter, Veronika Scott created the EMPWR coat. This water-resistant, self-heating coat transforms into a sleeping bag for nighttime and a crossbody bag for the off-season.

It began as a class project. Veronika and her classmates were challenged to design something that fills a need in Detroit. She came up with her innovative coat after doing research at homeless shelters.

While the coats are definitely useful, Veronika realized that many homeless people needed more long-lasting help—jobs. To give homeless people a chance at financial stability, she started The Empowerment Plan. This non-profit employs individuals from shelters to make the coats, then donates them to people living on the street around the country. The company’s workforce is able to give back while getting back on their own feet.


The Empowerment Plan website states:

Our mission is to educate, employ, and empower homeless individuals to create a better life for themselves and their families while producing a humanitarian product for those in need.

Want to know more about the EMPWR Coat?

The EMPWR coat is a water-resistant and self-heating jacket, which can transform into a sleeping bag, or be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. The coat is constructed of upcycled automotive insulation, fabric from Carhartt, and other materials provided by generous donors.

The Empowerment Plan can produce 1,000 coats on a budget of $100,000. Our studies show that for each 1,000 coats distributed, we can save 14 lives and reduce healthcare costs by $58,800 annually. Also, each recipient of an EMPWR Coat will make at least one less emergency room visit per year due to hypothermia. Assuming an average cost of $4,200 per visit, we estimate reduced healthcare costs of $58,800 for every 1,000 coats we distribute. Each year approximately 7% of homeless individuals die from hypothermia. Our coat reduces this statistic by over 20%.

It costs $100 to sponsor a coat, which covers the cost of labor, materials, and overhead expenses. Our goal this year is to produce and distribute 6,500 coats across the United States and Canada.


Visit the Empowerment Plan website to learn more!

Empowerment Plan
The Grommet

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