A police officer has launched a small-scale effort to help provide those in need with warmth.
After coming across a homeless man who was sleeping under a bridge in frigid temperatures, Sgt. Brian Taylor of Provo, Utah, grew concerned for those who were left to brave the cold weather conditions, KUTV.com reported. Since the city has no overnight shelters for homeless people to seek refuge in, Taylor turned to a product that he heard about on the radio -- The EMPWR Coat. The garment, created by a not-for-profit organization, The Empowerment Plan, unfolds to become a sleeping bag.
A few weeks ago, the officer set up a CrowdRise page asking for donations to buy six coats. Donors surpassed the original goal, giving more than $1,000, and allowing Taylor to purchase 10 wearable sleeping bags for the homeless, according to KSL.com.
Support Brian Taylor's efforts to purchase wearable sleeping bags for homeless people through the fundraising widget below.
He said that the effort has gotten the community involved in a project that helps those that need it to most.
"This is not a solution to homelessness," he told the outlet. "It’s just a way for citizens to help other citizens in need, to help a vulnerable population."
The coats, which are created by a team of mostly homeless parents, are water-resistant and self-heating, according to the organization's website. Taylor has begun giving out them out, and so far, they've gotten positive reactions.
"When I gave the coat and showed how to open it up and turn it into a sleeping bag, the person that I dealt with was pretty excited," the office told KSL.com. "He’s a homeless guy in Provo that the police know and deal with on a periodic basis and he was excited to have a warm sleep system that he could carry with him."
To learn more about The Empowerment Plan or to make a donation, visit their website.