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Beam - crowdfunding to help homeless people get into employment

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by Startacus Admin

beamHomelessness is a sad, frightening, and important topic. With 8000 people sleeping on UK streets and a further 200,000 ‘hidden homeless’ - those with only temporary accommodation, like hostels or even the backseat of their car - it is strangely easy to forget that these absurdly large numbers represent actual people.

That’s 280,000 individual human beings.

We have written before about startups who are acutely aware of this people-not-statistics fact. For example, San Francisco non-profit
Lava Mae and their portable shower bus or, more recently, TAP and their idea to employ the homeless to collect for charity. The latter is most relevant to today’s startup, which is also geared towards helping homeless people to get into employment.

beam Step forward Beam is a crowdfunding and support platform for the homeless, with the aim of helping them progress into paid work and self-reliance.

Beam works with registered charities who recommend people to them. A Beam employee then meets with the new member to discuss their skills and experience, and what kind of training they will need in order to achieve employment.

From here, an online fundraising campaign is created for that member’s training. This training is provided by verified tuition providers and results in valuable, usable qualifications (one of the existing members is currently training for a City & Guilds Diploma in Electrical Installations, for example).You can give a one-time donation or give monthly, from £10, and the money is held by Beam and then paid to the tuition provider directly. You can always see the member’s target and amount raised, keeping things transparent.

This system works particularly well when, after a member has got set up in stable, paid Beam crowdfunding platformwork, they then provide support and mentorship to new Beam members. There is little more inspiring and encouraging than to be mentored by someone who was in your position just a short while previously, who is now standing on their own two feet. These newly stable members also often pledge to repay the value of their own campaign to new members’ campaigns.

It will take a lot more work, a lot more help from the government, and a lot more awareness, but when homelessness is finally eradicated, it will be because of social good organisations like Beam.


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Published on: 11th February 2018

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