Veronika Scott created the Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the homeless community. Scott’s initial goal was to design a unique coat that would also serve as a sleeping bag at night and bag during the day.
Their organization went one step further by hiring homeless parents from local shelters to become full time seamstresses. These individuals manufacture the coat which is then given out to homeless people living on the streets at no cost.
On Jan. 6, Kraft was joined by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett, Patriots cheerleaders, Patriots employees and other volunteers to hand deliver over 200 coats to Pine Street Inn in Boston. This will help to serve an unfortunately large population throughout the city.
“We work with a little over 1,600 people every day and about half of those people used to be homeless, but now live in Pine Street Inn housing,” said Lyndia Downie, President and Executive Director of Pine Street Inn. “The rest of the folks are people that we either see on the street, in a shelter or they’re in one of our transitional job training programs.”
Other recipients of the coats include the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program, the Women’s Lunch Place in Boston and homeless shelters in Providence, R.I. and Worcester, Mass. For many, these coats could be the difference between life and death.
“We want to try and let everyone in the community know that they’re important to our family and our team and that we’re concerned about them,” said Kraft.
The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation also donated Patriots winter hats and gloves to put in the pockets of each coat. Pine Street Inn has a night shuttle that will be delivering these coats to men and women living on the streets in Boston.
Ten men experiencing homelessness in Boston were in attendance at Pine Street Inn and were the proud recipients of the winter coats. Kraft and Mayor Walsh helped to outfit the men in the new coats, gloves and hat.
“I see a lot of the things that Robert Kraft does that nobody else sees,” said Mayor Walsh. “A lot of times he’ll do it behind the scenes. He’ll call me up and talk about different organizations. He’s very generous and I appreciate that. They are a very fortunate family and I know he’ll say that, and very successful obviously with the New England Patriots, but they give it back and I want to thank them for giving it back.”
Each coat costs $100 to make and donations can be made to the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation to help sponsor a coat. The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will ensure that every single coat will be hand delivered to an individual experiencing homelessness in New England. Donations can be made payable to The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA 02035.
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