Everything You Need to Know About the Empowerment Plan and Its Campaign to End Homelessness With DVF
According to "The State of Homelessness In America," a study conducted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, "On a single night in January 2015, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness — meaning they were sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program."
While the number of homeless men, women, and children in many states has since decreased and shown some improvement, homelessness in the United States remains a pressing issue.
This push? The DVF x The Empowerment Plan Match Campaign, which focuses specifically on helping homeless women and their families, is a campaign for which DVF promises to "match dollar-for-dollar the first $50,000 raised in support of the [The Empowerment Plan]."
Here's everything you need to know about the organization behind the initiative and their partnership with DVF:
The founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, Veronika Scott, received The People's Voice Award at the 2014 DVF Awards, an award ceremony created by Diane and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to "honor and support extraordinary women who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive and the leadership to inspire."
Scott's inspiration to help those succeed came from personal experience. "I think women have a really difficult time understanding how valuable they are... The idea of self worth is very important to me because I grew up the kid of addicts," she stated, "And we were kind of set up for failure, we were set up in a hole that we had to climb our way out of."
While in college, Scott created an adaptable coat that turned into both a bag and sleeping bag that she gave out at homeless shelters only to find that what homeless men and women really needed were jobs. So she started The Empowerment Plan with the mission "to educate, employ, and empower homeless individuals to create a better life for themselves and their families while producing a humanitarian product for those in need."
The Empowerment Plan began in 2011 and has since made over 9,000 coats for the homeless population.
This organization is based out of Detroit, Michigan, but the coats have spread to 30 states across the U.S.
"A coat is just a band-aid for a systemic issue," Scott says of her revelation to create jobs for the homeless, "What really would have the impact is hiring the population that would need them in the first place."
And, in case you need more of an incentive, for every $30 you donate, you will be entered in a raffle to win your choice of any DVF wrap dresses.
Watch Diane von Furstenberg's exclusive MAKERS video above to learn more about her fashion empire.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Cook/Reuters