OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Coat design that works to end urban homelessness

The Empowerment plan centers around a coat designed to protect the homeless. Homeless women are employed to manufacture the coat, and the coat itself is given away at no cost to those who need it.

Photo of DeletedUser
3 10

Written by DeletedUser

Conceived of by design student Veronika Scott, the Empowerment Plan is manufactured by women who are paid to produce the coat. The coats themselves are given away at no cost to those who need them. 

I've read about this coat in a few places and heard about it first hand when I was recently in Detroit. The idea itself is inspiring, but what really jumps out at me is the way the community in Detroit is rallying around making it happen. Veronika's organization will work out of 1401 Vermont, an incubator for community-minded ideas. From what I gather on website, renovations are being done by local volunteers. It's inspiring to read about a community like Detroit where people are working together to get ideas off the ground. 

On The Empowerment Plan website, you can learn more about the coat and the plan here:  


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


I love this idea for several reasons; not only does this provide jobs and clothing for the homeless, but it also teaches the workers a skill set which could be used to help sustain themselves later on in addition to preventing them from having to resort to other, possibly illegal means to make money.

View all comments