A 2017 national ranking placed Detroit last out of 100 cities for “17 key indicators of livability, affordability and veteran-friendliness.” According to one study, in 2015 Michigan had over 5,000 homeless veterans. These statistics prompted Jarret Schlaff to create a worker cooperative that hires veterans to make high-end sneakers, boots, and other apparel using recycled materials from the auto industry. The idea, simply put, is to enable Detroit veterans to improve their economic circumstances by becoming co-owners of the business where they work. The result was Pingree Detroit, launched in January 2015.
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