Campaign launched to give homeless people employment training to get them back into work

Users can follow their progress with regular updates and photos of them receiving training or at work

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 16 November 2017 15:38

A crowdfunding campaign has been launching to fund employment training for homeless people to get them back into work.

A recent report by housing charity Shelter found more than 300,000 people are now sleeping rough in Britain.

Beam allows users to sponsor homeless people and contribute towards training courses in London.

It also lets users follow their progress, with regular updates and photos of them receiving training or at work.

Three teenagers shown on CCTV giving homeless man duvet

Donations can be made monthly or in a lump sum, and donors can choose to either sponsor a specific homeless person or make a general donation to every campaign.

The app has been backed by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, and is being launched in partnership with ten homelessness charities including St Mungo’s, Centrepoint and Thames Reach.

After the charities have recommended a homeless person, staff at Beam will seek a second reference to verify the accuracy of their personal stories, which are posted on the website along with a picture.

They then work together to create an action plan and budget for the campaign.

The money is paid straight to the training provider.

Those who find work through Beam are encouraged to repay their funding by donating to other people's campaigns via small monthly standing orders.

So far, every Beam member has opted to pay forward the full value of their campaign.

Tony, who was Beam's first member, successfully funded his campaign to train as an electrician within less than month, raising £4,378 from 136 supporters.

“When I first heard about Beam,” Tony said, “I thought, ‘why would anyone want to help me out?’ I couldn’t believe it when the money started coming in.

"Then, when I read the messages from my supporters, I just didn’t have words. Thanks to Beam, I’m now training to become a fully-qualified electrician.”

Alex Stephany, the founder of Beam, said: “I believe people want to help but feel powerless.

"Crowdfunding technology makes it safe and easy to help someone out of homelessness for the long-term.”

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