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LDF to Provide Sleeping Bag Coats to Unsheltered San Diegans

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Lucky Duck Foundation & Aqualia International Foundation Provide 2,000 Sleeping Bag Coats, Manufactured by Parents Experiencing Homelessness, to Unsheltered San Diegans

SAN DIEGO, CA – December 16, 2020: The Lucky Duck Foundation (LDF) and Aqualia International Foundation, LTD, today announced the purchase and distribution of 2,000 EMPWR coats, which transform into sleeping bags to provide critical protection and warmth from the elements to unsheltered homeless San Diegans.

“As winter approaches, these coats immediately benefit those experiencing homelessness by providing warmth and protection from the elements. But these coats and sleeping bags are no substitute for real shelter,” said Dan Shea, LDF Board Member, Tuesday Group Co-Founder, and Partner of Paradigm Investment Group. “As a community, we must do more. Specifically, we call on our political leaders to open empty or underutilized government buildings for shelter, permanent supportive housing, and employment opportunities for those experiencing homelessness. In the meantime, the least we can do is partially alleviate the suffering of homelessness with these coats.”

The coats will be distributed to San Diego County’s unsheltered homeless population via LDF’s & Aqualia’s food and water initiative, which has provided more than 320,000 meals since mid-May of this year. The LDF & Aqualia Foundation food and water program serves 1,000 unsheltered people per day. In a recent survey of outreach workers supporting the program, 97% said the food is lifesaving, 88% said it makes their outreach efforts more successful, and 79% said the individuals experiencing homelessness are more likely to accept health and social services.

The weather-resistant coats are made by Empowerment Plan, a social enterprise nonprofit based in Detroit that hires homeless parents to do the manufacturing while providing them with case management and other support services. The coats fold out into a sleeping bag, can be worn as a shoulder bag and are made from recycled and donated materials. 

According to the 2020 Point-in-Time Count conducted by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, on any given day, nearly 4,000 people live unsheltered in San Diego County. Along with the commitment to provide 2,000 coats, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation are providing another 200 coats.

The Lucky Duck Foundation, Aqualia International Foundation, Regional Task Force on the Homeless and Alliance Healthcare Foundation challenge other organizations, businesses, and individuals to fill the gap by providing coats for every unsheltered person experiencing homelessness throughout San Diego County. To support this initiative and to sponsor a coat, please visit: https://www.luckyduckfoundation.org/provide-sleeping-bag-coats

The most effective way to alleviate the suffering of homelessness is to provide permanent supportive housing. To that end, LDF encourages ardent supporters to contact their elected officials and urge them to open vacant and underutilized government owned buildings.

To view and/or download B-Roll of coat distribution, please visit: https://bit.ly/3oMSuYY

ABOUT THE LUCKY DUCK FOUNDATION

Since 2005, The Lucky Duck Foundation (LDF) has raised funds and awareness for numerous charitable causes throughout San Diego. In 2017, due to the growing homelessness epidemic, LDF pivoted to focus on providing aid and relief for individuals and families living without permanent housing. Since then, LDF and its co-founders, Pat & Stephanie Kilkenny, have funded, led, and activated several high-impact programs that alleviate the suffering of homelessness throughout San Diego County, including bridge shelters, employment and job training, research, permanent supportive housing, outreach, and more. Originally called the Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, the name was changed to the Lucky Duck Foundation to honor the Kilkenny family’s Irish heritage and as a nod to their love of the University of Oregon. The premise is simple:  if you have had some good luck and fortune in your life, share your luck with those less fortunate. 

Follow the Lucky Duck Foundation on social: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter| LinkedIn  

ABOUT EMPOWERMENT PLAN

The Empowerment Plan (EP) is a Detroit-based organization that elevates individuals from the generational cycle of homelessness through employment. EP hires directly from local shelters and trains employees in sewing and manufacturing to produce sleeping bag coats for those in need. In addition to full-time employment, the organization provides critical programs and resources to help employees advance their education, secure housing and transportation, and regain their independence. Since 2012, EP has permanently pulled over 95 families from homelessness and produced and distributed more than 43,000 coats around the globe.

Follow the Empowerment Plan on social: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

For media inquiries, contact Drew Moser: drewm@luckyduckfoundation.org / (619) 417-1149.

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