Chance the Rapper has teamed up with a Detroit-based charity to bring at least 1,000 high-tech coats to Chicago's homeless population.
The rapper is working with the nonprofit The Empowerment Plan for a new initiative called Warmest Winter, which launched Wednesday.
The Empowerment Plan hires previously homeless people from local shelters in Detroit to manufacture the long, insulated coats, called EMPWR Coats, which are then distributed to the city's needy. The coats can be converted into tote bags and sleeping bags, allowing the wearer to remain warm, mobile and dry.
And in the city of Chicago, which has an estimated homeless population of 125,848, according to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and where winters can be merciless, the EMPWR Coats make a critical difference. According to the Empowerment Plan, approximately 7 percent of homeless individuals in the United States die from hypothermia. The EMPWR Coat "reduces this statistic by over 20 percent." This means lives saved and less hospital trips for those who can't afford them.
As part of the Warmest Winter initiative, givers are asked to donate $100 to sponsor the production of one coat. So far $43,000 has been raised and 430 coats have been made.
Chance the Rapper has been tweeting about the initiative since last week and sharing facts about the Empowerment Plan. He's been offering incentives to donate including tickets to his concerts, a Chicago White Sox game and a Chicago Bulls game, while sharing statuses from givers.
In addition to bringing 1,000 coats to Chicago, the Empowerment Plan hopes to ultimately set up a factory in Chicago itself and keep the good work going.
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