Aaron Branch came to the team in 2017 after being incarcerated for more than 20 years. During that time, he learned how to sew and found he excelled at it. After his release, he began looking for sewing jobs and landed a position at The Empowerment Plan. Today, he’s transitioned from sewing into an inventory and logistics specialist role. He’s enrolled in college courses and hopes to become an entrepreneur himself one day.
Following an unexpected pregnancy that resulted in the loss of her job, Jessica West and her family found themselves in a bind. With little support in Nebraska at the time, the family of four moved to the Motor City to be closer to relatives. But after a period of couch surfing, she made the hard choice to move herself, her husband and their two kids into a shelter. Since joining the Empowerment Plan in 2016, however, the West family’s luck has been looking up. Today, Jessica and her husband have created a stable home life in Detroit for their expanded family. She’s also enrolled in college course while working part-time for another sewing company. As for what the future holds, the mother of five hopes to pay it forward one day by building her own business that gives back to the community.
Angel Tyler’s life turned upside down the day her husband became incarcerated. In the weeks following, the mother of two was unable to find childcare, which led to one too many days off and the eventual loss of her job. Pretty soon, she faced no other option but to take herself and her children to a temporary shelter. Enter The Empowerment Plan. The nonprofit hired Angel as a seamstress in 2014, and she moved quickly up the ranks. Today, she serves as a production specialist, leading 25 seamstresses daily, and has also been taking advantage of the higher education courses available to employees. And, she’s no longer homeless – in fact, Angel recently purchased her first home.