Veronika Scott—CEO of The Empowerment Plan, a Detroit non-profit that hires previously homeless women to make clothing for the homeless—discusses her efforts to break the cycle of poverty using Detroit’s manufacturing prowess.
On her own story and addressing the cycle of poverty: “Both of my parents have struggled with homelessness, poverty, and addiction.… Both of my siblings and I were looked at as extensions of our parents… that because my parents didn't go to college or graduate high school or because they struggled with addiction, that we were by default going to repeat that same life and that we're just worthless by extension. And so, you feel like you're crawling your way out of a hole.”
On the success of The Empowerment Plan: “This isn't just numbers, these are people. We're very asset heavy. So, figuring out what works with humans and that love and care, that's so critically important that somebody knows your name. Most individuals that have been in homeless shelters have been treated less than human for so long. So, to help restore confidence isn't something that you can just rapidly scale without a lot of good intention behind it.”