Many of us take for granted having a coat to keep us warm in the winter and a soft place to sleep at night. But, for homeless people, both of those things can be hard to find. One woman is trying to help solve both of those problems with one brilliant inventionâa coat that transforms into a sleeping bag.
The sleeves of the coat turn into a nice pillow, while the legs of the sleeping bag pull out from the bottom of the coat. Those who have the coat can also roll it up to create an over-the-shoulder bag when it's warmer outside.
The Detroit-based company that is making these awesome sleeping bag coatsÂ is called The Empowerment Plan. Founder and CEO Veronica Scott was inspired by a college class challenging her to "fill an actual need in the community." As Scott got to know the homeless people in her community, she learned that what they needed even more than coats was jobs. She decided to fill that need as wellâby hiring them to work at her company making the sleeping bag coats.
"When I first started The Empowerment Plan, I was really excited about hiring the people that would need the product in the first place," Scott told Mashable. "That was the cornerstone of the whole business model."
According to itsÂ website, The Empowerment PlanÂ hires and trains single parents from local shelters to work as seamstresses. With full-time employment, they're able to become independent again. To date, Scott has hired 34 homeless people since 2012. Each person hired has gone on to secure permanent housing.
As of 2016, over 15,000 coats have been distributed all overÂ the United States and Canada.Â If you'd like a coat for someone in your local community, you can request a coat here. If you'd like to donate $100 to sponsor a coat made by The Empowerment Plan, you can click here.Â No matter which option you choose, you're helping a person in need to stay warm this winter.
Learn more about this inspiring project in the video below.