Detroit coat maker for homeless expands into new production space

Empowerment Project works to help homeless

DETROIT – There's a unique program in Detroit in which homeless people are making winter coats for others in similar situations.

The Empowerment Plan recently moved into a huge new facility that's allowing the program to grow.

Corrinder Moore is one of the seamstresses inside the Empowerment Plan who make thousands of warm winter coats.

She said the coats can also be used as carry bags, satchels or sleeping bags. They're designed specifically for homeless people and made by homeless people.

"I was going house to house," Moore said. "I was squatting."

Moore said she was a teenage mother and had no place to call home. She said she had no help until she found the Empowerment Plan.

"Now I have my own home," Moore said.

The Empowerment Plan hires workers from shelters, trains them and puts them to work. They now have a new 21,000-square-foot facility near Belle Isle.

Founder Veronika Scott said the program has made about 30,000 coats and handed them out to people in all 50 states.

In college, Scott worked at warming shelters and thought of the idea for the coats. She said the coat is a bandage, but hiring people and teaching them life skills is the real value.

The Empowerment Plan grew from a small shoebox operation to the large one that's near Belle Isle. It runs on donations and could always use help.

Click here if you want to donate.

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