On this Christmas Eve, we wanted to quickly highlight someone who has made a difference in the D. Veronika Scott has made an impact through her Empowerment Plan based right here in Detroit’s Ponyride maker space.

If you don’t know, the Empowerment Plan provides these amazing, warm and functional coats for the homeless, and the founder and CEO is in her mid-twenties. You can even see an example of the coat in the Detroit Historical Museum (it’s on the second floor where they feature the work of area innovators). Not only do they help the homeless who have received coats, but also through the formerly homeless who she has hired to make the coats which has helped change their station in life. But what inspired her?

“I remember taking a coat back to the shelter that I designed the coat in, and this woman literally is screaming at me. She goes up to me and says, ‘We don’t need coats. Coats are pointless. We need jobs.

And really, she was completely right, because a coat is just a band-aid for a systemic issue. And what really would have an impact is hiring the population that would need them in the first place.”

The video above has been viewed more than 4,000,000 times. It’s great to see the world see a little bit of Detroit’s can-do spirit to make change in our city, even if it’s one coat – or one job – at a time. If you want to see more of the story, check out the video below which highlights two of the women whose lives were changed, Murl Bryant and Demetria Stewart.

In 2015, we at Daily Detroit want to do a lot more highlighting of difference makers in Detroit wherever they may be. Maybe they’re in corners of the city rarely talked about. Maybe it’s your neighbor, your cousin, your coworker. But we’d love your help. If you know someone you think deserves to be highlighted next year, hit up our submit form. We’ll get on that in the new year.

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