What to Read Next

Coat that converts into sleeping bag gives warmth to Detroit homeless

Frances McInnis
Shine On
March 29, 2012

One young Detroit design student's school project has now helped hundreds of homeless people the city.

Veronika Scott designed a warm, waterproof coat that could be converted into a sleeping bag for a course assignment at Detroit's College for Creative Studies. A year out of school, she is now working with an outreach program in Detroit to teach women in Detroit's homeless shelters to produce the garments, which are then distributed among the city's homeless population of approximately 20,000.

Scott's project, called "The Empowerment Plan," helps keep people on the street warm and dry, and helps give jobless women a skill that could help them support themselves.

Related: Brazilian clinics offer free cosmetic surgery to poor women

"If done right, this would be a way to help end the homeless cycle," Scott told TODAY.com. "We give homeless women jobs while in the shelter, so they can earn money, find a place to live, and gain back their independence for themselves and their family."

The project was assigned by industrial design professor Stephen Schock, who started the school's design activism class at the school in 2010.

"I looked around and thought, This city has such need, we have to figure out a way to have our students become problem-solvers here," he told the New York Times. His instructions were simply, "Design to fill a need."

Related: Body-scanning booth helps you find jeans that fit your booty

Scott honed in on the people sleeping outside of shelters because of pride, mental health problems or concerns about their privacy. The coat is made out of housing insulation and either recycled wool or synthetic fiber, according to NPR. Feedback from homeless individuals has been used to help refine the design.

Scott's work has received praise from media and entrepreneurs. The only drawback to her success? "I am now known as the 'Crazy Coat Lady,' " she told the New York Times.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Crazy Powerful Tactical Flashlights Selling Fast!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Buying Medigap Plan F? Read This First

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

This Movie Deal Is Sure To Get Your Attention!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

This Home Security System Stopped a Crime Spree

A crime wave swept through southern Wisconsin. 25 homes and businesses robbed in a month. The cops were stumped—until they tried this...

Find Out How SoFi Can Help Refinance Your Loans

SoFi is refinancing student loans with fixed rates as low as 3.5% APR...

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

Switch and save!

Switch to Progressive and you could save an average of $548.

Bad News For Insurance, Great News For Virginia

Virginia drivers, with cars and good driving records are learning that they may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Do you qualify?

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!