Help for homeless in Asheville NC

1-5-20 Update

Our gratitude to all who made donations that enabled us to sponsor 20 new sleeping bag coats in December. They were distributed to people living outside during these freezing cold nights. Hundreds of our brothers and sisters are still living on the street or in the woods. They are the most vulnerable among us.

Please help us get these life-saving coats to as many people as possible. The full cost of a sponsored coat is $125 – an increase over last year, due to their increased expenses.

Shipping cost is $15 for a single coat.

We appreciate whatever tax-free contribution you can make. A donation of any amount helps us meet our goal.


We are three passionate advocates for the homeless in Asheville, NC – Pat and Larry Downing and Bill Robinson.  We are on a mission to get as many sleeping bag coats as possible to those who are sleeping outside on these cold winter nights. At this time, there are hundreds of homeless men, women and children in the Asheville area. Shelters cannot accommodate them all, so many are living and sleeping outside in all kinds of weather. Twenty people die from homeless-related causes every year in this area, some from freezing to death. These coats can save lives.

To see a demonstration of the coat, please go to:

The sleeping bag coats are very warm, light-weight coats that can transform into a sleeping bag or an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. They are manufactured by the Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based non-profit organization dedicated to serving the homeless community. The Empowerment Plan hires women from local shelters and trains them to become full time seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and gain back their independence for themselves and for their families.

The coats are creatively designed to be warm, comfortable and easy to use. When one is worn as a coat, the sleeping bag extension is folded up and secured to the inside of the back of the coat by strong Velcro. When used as a sleeping bag, the extension folds down. When it is not being used, the coat folds into a light-weight shoulder bag that is easy to carry.

The sleeping bag coats are donated to the homeless free of charge. This is an urgent need. We are looking for sponsors who will help us bring more coats to Asheville by donating some or all of the cost of a coat. Each coat costs $125 and shipping is $15. Every dollar helps us reach our goal.

Thank you for opening your heart to these vulnerable, courageous people who have gifts and dreams and hopes for the future. Thank you for helping make today a lot easier for them and perhaps saving a life along the way.
This is a project of where we are building a world-wide community of people who are committed to living with love and kindness.
  • Dale Roberts 
    • $35 
    • 18 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 24 mos
  • Rob Wilkins 
    • $25 
    • 25 mos
  • Robert Lahaie 
    • $50 
    • 26 mos
  • Joy Moss 
    • $125 
    • 29 mos
See all


Larry Downing 
Asheville, NC
The Empowerment Plan 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.