Detroit's Coat Lady
"No matter what you've gone through you still can do a lot with what you have."
Veronika has built an organisation that began with a single idea: to design a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag for homeless people. That idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment that creates jobs to permanently lift people out of poverty. The production staff, which is composed of previously homeless women and men, has proven that Empowerment Plan is radically changing workforce development. Each employee is paid to learn how to produce the coat, employed full time, and is also provided with supplemental education programming.
Veronika is the youngest recipient of the JFK New Frontier Award and received an honorary doctorate from Johnson State College. She is a winner of the IDEA Gold Award, the Diane von Furstenberg People’s Voice Award, and has been named one of Forbes 30 Under 30, Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 40 Under 40, and CNN’s 10 Visionary Women.