Warmest Winter Chicago: EMPWR Coat Initiative

Chance The Rapper and The Empowerment Plan partner to bring EMPWR coats to Chicago

Warmest Winter is a seasonal initiative inspiring others through service.
When this initiative launched in December of 2015, Chance wanted to give Chicago's highly mobile community a special coat that was practical and able to withstand Chicago's harsh winters.
With the help of a Detroit non-profit, The Empowerment Plan, we were going to be able to provide a water-resistant and self-heating coat that could transform into a sleeping bag and be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when it is not in use.
Chance the Rapper and The Empowerment Plan presented the Warmest Winter initiative in hopes of bringing 1,000 coats to the homeless, but together we did a lot more.



Money Raised


Coats Sponsored

Statistics on Chicago homelessness

An analysis by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 125,848 Chicagoans were homeless in the course of the 2014-15 school year. This is partly based on the 20,205 homeless students who were identified by Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
Another 11.3% of students (2,279) lived in shelters, and 1.7% lived in motels (136), in a park or other “public place” (55), or in a temporary foster care placement (163).
Source - Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

The Empowerment Plan Coat

The EMPWR coat is a water-resistant and self-heating jacket, which can transform into a sleeping bag, or be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use
The coat is constructed of upcycled automotive insulation, fabric from Carhartt, and other materials provided by generous donors.
The Empowerment Plan can produce 1,000 coats on a budget of $100,000. Our studies show that for each 1,000 coats distributed, we can save 14 lives.
Each year approximately 7% of homeless individuals die from hypothermia. Our coat reduces this statistic by over 20%
It costs $100 to sponsor a coat, which covers the cost of labor, materials, and overhead expenses.
While these coats will save lives this winter, our ultimate partnership goal is to bring an Empowerment Plan factory to Chicago.

About the Cause

The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the homeless community.

Our goal is to help build a better life for those that have become trapped in the cycle of homelessness.

We mostly hire homeless parents from local shelters to become full time seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and gain back their independence for themselves and for their families.