By now most people who read this blog know that I am involved in housing and homelessness in London. By building 1,500 homes each year Notting Hill Housing makes a real contribution to providing homes for low income Londoners. We also support other charities like St Mungos-Broadway which exists specifically to provide for single and street homeless people. Here I am with TV’s Phil Spencer, a big supporter of the charity, Paul Doe, their Chairman, and Councillor Lisa Homan from LBHF – supporting Homes for Britain.
I was therefore interested to hear via Twitter of a young woman in Detroit who had designed a coat that double as a sleeping bag for street homeless people. Obviously a home, or even a shelter, would be a better offer than a sleeping bag, but I thought this project was really interesting. Design student Veronika Scott created a warm jacket that turns into a full size sleeping bag at night.
When he heard of her work the waste recycling officer from Chrysler got in touch to offer off cuts of the fabric that is used to insulate and finish cars and trucks. It is quilted, stain and water resistant. Veronika recycles this product to mass produce jacket sleeping bags. She has taught dozens of homeless women how to sew the garments on industrial machines. She currently employs 20 homeless women to make the jackets which are distributed to homeless people.
Veronika says that she wanted the coat to look good as well as being practical and she has been refining the design. Maybe the best thing about this project is that unemployed and homeless women have learnt to sew – a skill which could provide employment, and hopefully housing, for them in the near future.