Veronika Scott 1

Veronika Scott – Empowering Homeless Women Stitch by Stitch

Veronika Scott grew up near Detroit, Michigan in a tough household environment. She took note of the over 20,000 Detroiters who are homeless which now equals 1 of every 42 residents.

She worked hard in high school and was able to earn a college scholarship to study industrial design at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, one of the top design schools in the U.S.

One college class that she took changed her life forever.  The assignment was to design something to fill a social need. Veronika reached out to the homeless community in Detroit to understand their problems.  After 5 months of research and experimenting, she invented a coat that turned into a sleeping bag!

While her invention was brilliant and doing lots of good, one homeless woman approached her saying that what they needed was not coats, but jobs.

This caused Veronika to rethink everything once again.  She decided to expand her focus from just providing for the homeless to empowering the homeless.

As stated on the website of her non-profit, The Empowerment Plan: “We hire women from local homeless shelters to become full time seamstresses. These women manufacture a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag, which is then given out to homeless individuals living on the streets at no cost to them. We believe in giving second chances to those who want it, and providing warmth to those who need it.”

Veronika’s efforts have now provided clothing and shelter for many homeless people and have won many awards.  Check out this video that tells Veronika’s inspirational story:

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • What sparked Veronika to take action and do something to help the homeless?
  • What is the difference between providing for the homeless and empowering the homeless?
  • What character traits does Veronika exhibit?

Take Action:

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
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