Chevy Teams Up With Empowerment Plan to Give Away Coats to the Homeless

The Empowerment Plan will spend roughly two weeks on the road in Chevy trucks, passing out more than 500 coats.

The nonprofit The Empowerment Plan has teamed up with Chevrolet to deliver more than 500 coats to the homeless in eight cities across the Midwest and Northeast, including two stops in Michigan. The “Spread the Warmth” project will visit Detroit; Rochester, New York; New York City; Boston; Louisville; Chicago; Grand Rapids and Washington, D.C., through March 7. 

“So I think for us, it’s understanding that the coat is an incredible vehicle for change. For us, the coat is a way that we’re able to employ people, and that it is about this kind of deeper systemic impact.” –Veronika Scott, the CEO & Founder of The Empowerment Plan  

Founded in 2012 by Veronika Scott, the organization works to find employment and stability for people dealing with homelessness.  

Genna Young, manager of Detroit Community Partnerships at General Motors, says the partnership between the two organizations to serve vulnerable communities has lasted for a decade. “One of the most critical parts of Veronika’s strategy is the workforce development side of the Empowerment Plan’s work employing formerly homeless individuals and lifting them up out of poverty, and hopefully breaking the generational cycles of poverty.” 

Jessica Malek/Mercenary
Jessica Malek/Mercenary

Since its inception, the Empowerment Plan has given away more than 50,000 sleeping bag coats. The unique coats are made from recycled materials, which are created to last. “For people, they just want to use it as storage, and wear the winter coats. So it is something that can also be used year-round, in the sense that it can be rolled up. And the entire garment can be used as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use,” says Scott. 

For more information or ways to get involved, visit Empowerment Plan’s website or follow Scott’s road trip on Instagram.

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  • Tia Graham

    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.