Providing Shelter: Jacket Shelters and Employees Detroit’s Homeless

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DALLAS -- It all started as a project for her college class but back in 2010, Veronika Scott was about to design something that would help shelter and employ Detroit’s homeless population.

She created the EMPWR coat, a fully insulated, waterproof jacket that turns into a sleeping bag and a knapsack.

Her first design drew the attention of General Motors. The car company now donates leftover flexible material from their cars to help create the coats.

Now 26, Scott has distributed more than 15,000 free coats all over the United States and into Canada. She also employees 22 homeless parents recruited from shelters.

Protecting people from the elements sure helps and Scott has impacted the community in Detroit and abroad, but the truth is that the nation's homeless are facing more than just cold nights.

Just ask those closer to home, in Dallas' tent city; homeless men and women have faced an increase of violent attacks under I-45 in recent months.

Just last week, a homeless man  with a hatchet was accused of assaulting three people, before that, a man was stabbed to death  in February and another man was killed in January.

The City of Dallas plans to shut down tent city on May 4, leaving its more than 300 residents with a familiar feeling of no place to go.

Sleeping on the streets is never someone's first option, but with inventions like Scott's EMPWR coat, maybe we can help shelter those facing hard times.

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