Empowerment Plan (EP) is celebrating its 10th year of impact with Project 10: a nationwide EMPWR coat distribution initiative set to take place on World Homeless Day, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022.

EP is teaming up with civic and community organizations in 10 cities across the nation to distribute 1,000 EMPWR sleeping bag coats to unhoused community members. Leading the charge in Michigan is the DTE Energy Foundation and the Muskegon Rescue Mission. Empowerment Plan has worked closely with the DTE Foundation since 2019. Over the last three years, the DTE Foundation has sponsored thousands of EMPWR coats for individuals in need across Michigan.

“Over the last two years, EP has experienced unprecedented demand, both for the coats and the services we provide,” said Veronika Scott, Founder of Empowerment Plan. “The coat is a valuable resource for outreach organizations like the Muskegon Rescue Missions who can get them into the hands of people who need them. We are so grateful for the ongoing support and encouragement from DTE and the DTE Foundation and thank them for generously stepping up to help make Project 10 a reality.” 

Empowerment Plan has become a globally recognized organization over the last 10 years, pulling more than 100 families from homelessness in Detroit and producing and distributing 65,000 EMPWR coats that have been sent to all 50 states and 20 other countries.

“The DTE Foundation is committed to working with our neighbors to help keep them warm, with dignity and respect. The Empowerment Plan is not only saving lives with its revolutionary coat, it’s also providing purpose by offering training and employment that serves a global need,” said Lynette Dowler, president, DTE Foundation. “We are proud to provide funding for Empowerment Plan to distribute coats to keep individuals warm and to support the hardworking people who make them. The Empowerment Plan’s work is saving lives and we are grateful to be a part of it.”

In addition to distributing sleeping bag coats, the teams will also offer 100 mittens to individuals in need from Mittens for Detroit. Founded in 2010, Mittens for Detroit, Inc., is a nonprofit that collects, purchases, and distributes new mittens and gloves to children, teens, and adults in need in underserved cities. To date, Mittens has donated more than 250,000 pairs of gloves.

Over the last few weeks, Muskegon Rescue Mission has experienced a 35% increase in shelter needs. With cold temperatures fast approaching, the organization anticipates larger numbers and are grateful for local support to ensure men, women and children receive food, shelter and life-changing services. The sleeping bag coats will be distributed in the Men’s Shelter and the Women’s & Family Shelter.

“The generosity of Empowerment Plan and the DTE Foundation are essential to our efforts to serve those in need in the Lakeshore region,” said Dan Skoglund, Executive Director of Muskegon Rescue Mission. “These sleeping bag coats don’t just offer warmth; they could likely be a life-saving garment to a person facing chronic homelessness.”

Funders and other participating cities include Lucky Duck Foundation (San Diego, CA), the Detroit Pistons (Detroit, MI), the New England Patriots (Boston, MA), the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation (NYC, NY), Hello for Good (Spokane, WA), the Brother’s Trust (London) and Lineage for Good Foundation (Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA).

To support EP as they embark on their next decade of impact click here.