A nonprofit organization from Detroit hires homeless people and makes coats to help other homeless people survive the winter.
Now, some of the people in need have already received such coats in Winnipeg. The biggest advantage of such coats is that they can turn into a sleeping bag and help people not freeze during the night.
"It means a whole lot to me," said Lee Levasseur, a homeless man from Winnipeg who had only a thin jacket before the organization helped him.
The coat is made of water-resistant canvas. It easily transforms into a sleeping bag when it is pulled out for legs and head. Christy Loudon, CHAT's outreach program co-ordinator, explained that besides the fact that the coats are rather heavy to wear, they can save many lives on the streets. Most of them have already been given to the homeless. However, there are 15-20 more.
CHAT staff is going to drive through the streets of Winnipeg in order to help homeless people get to the shelters and to give sleeping bag coats to those who can not get there for some seasons.
Lee Levasseur admitted that he does not sleep in the shelter as he does not feel safe there.
The organization that creates coats is called the Empowerment Plan. It hires homeless people so they can earn money to change their lives for the better. For example, they can rent a cheap apartment and buy some foods. More than 25000 coats have already been made and given to people on the streets in the USA in Canada.
Taggart Porter, a CHAT outreach worker, said:
"They've just got buckles and Velcro and all stuff easy to fix. No zippers to break. I actually took one out for an overnight in the bush, to test it out — wonderful jacket."