Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Empowerment Plan


     I learned about this idea about a year ago, I guess, and it was a revolutionary project just having gotten off the ground.  Today, it has become a 'name' in its own right and has affected lives in ways I don't believe its creator even intended.

     This non-profit was created by a Detroit student to address the homeless problem in her area.  It's a coat, that is also a sleeping bag.  Simple idea; Enormous impact!

     I don't know if you know this Riley, but my family has been homeless a few times.  After having lost an apartment, we stayed in a motel room for a few weeks.  Once we snuck into a church and stayed in an empty room.  Another time we stayed at a campground until a friend stepped up and offered us their basement so we could get our feet under us again.  (Did you know that you need an address in order to fill out a job application?  Being without an address can be crippling).  And one time, our resources were gone and we asked Grammy if Christian could stay with her (which of course he could) and Steve and I walked around Quakertown that day not knowing what we were going to do for our own safety that night.  
  Having a safe place for Christian was the most important part and we were lucky that we had loved ones in the area because when you find yourself having lost everything, you can't travel to where it's convienient.  The car has been taken or the bus dropped you off as far as you could afford to go.  It's a circumstance that is more frightening than someone who hasn't experienced it can describe.  You have to find places to not just sleep but bathe, stay
hidden enough to feel safe from not just danger but law enforcement, and figure out how to make your tomorrow better than your today with having less than you did yesterday.

     Homelessness doesn't just take away a feeling of security, but your dignity as well.  'Empowered' is the opposite of how you feel, which is what this girl must have understood  when she was formulating this company.  She not only was successful in creating the EMPWR coat but has built a company that employs homeless women in the construction of the coats and has even crossed over into Canada with her life changing idea
Check out the site   www.empowermentplan.org to see the amazing impact this company has made since their beginning 4 years ago!  You can even use the site to donate ;)