MCAH attends Detroit Community Open House to promote election information

Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness participated in a community wide open house in July in Detroit hosted by the Empowerment Plan, which was a success. There were many community organizations that were present at the open house including a food pantry, literacy program, Harm Reduction coalition and shelter/housing resources. MCAH provided voter education and voter registration resources, as well as swag for those attending the event and had 20+ people fill out voter registration and absentee ballot request forms. As well, MCAH staff were able to connect and exchange contact information with other organizations at the event, including several those that operated shelters for persons experiencing homelessness.

The Empowerment Plan is a non-profit organization based in Detroit, MI, that provides training and employment to individuals experiencing homelessness. Employees work to produce the organization’s signature coat that transforms into a sleeping bag. With the goal of helping employees secure stable jobs after their employment at Empowerment Plan, the organization focuses on supportive services and programming to help individuals who work there, most who have experienced homelessness. Employees spend an average time of two years at Empowerment Plan, with 100% of employees maintaining stable housing within one year after graduation. During their employment at Empowerment Plan, employees spend about 60% of their time manufacturing coats. The other 40% of employees’ time is spent working on individual needs such as working towards gaining a drivers license or a GED. Employees are paid for their entire time at Empowerment Plan, including time spent working on individual needs. Empowerment Plan has created close to 100 jobs, impacted 275 children, and distributed 50,000 coats. Empowerment Plan boasts an impressive statistic: every person has moved out of living at the shelter within the first 90 days of working with them. Empowerment Plan started out as an idea for a college project; now, the organization is internationally recognized as a model for workforce development organizations.

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