There's a way to sponsor a homeless person back into work
Leo, Tony and Rachid have all started training thanks to the site (Picture: Beam)

A new website has launched helping you sponsor homeless people to get back on their feet with training.

The first steps back into work can be difficult, especially without up-to-date qualifications.

But Beam uses crowdfunding technology to get people training in areas like construction, teaching, plumbing, electrics or driving professionally.

‘They have experienced homelessness and are excited and determined to train up and get into work,’ founder Alex Stephany told Metro.co.uk.

There's a way to sponsor a homeless person back into work
Seb and Joe were two of the first to benefit (Picture: Beam)

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‘We’re making it simple to help homeless people help themselves.

‘There are a lot of talented people out there who want to be contributing.’

When you donate via Beam you can leave a message too, which can be really helpful letting people know there is support out there.

Or if you don’t want to donate to anyone specific, you can split your money between all the active campaigns.

Joe’s story

Joe was one of the first members to hit his target, reaching £1,132 in less than a week.

He has now completed training in crane rigging (attaching loads to cranes on construction sites), getting 94% in one module and 99% on the other.

‘After more than a decade on and off the streets, things are really looking up,’ he said.

There's a way to sponsor a homeless person back into work

‘I just got some short-term accommodation and it makes me so happy to wake up and feel carpet under my feet. More importantly, I completed detox in January.

‘I’m proud to say I’ve been abstinent from every intoxicant ever since and there’s no way I’m going back there, for my own wellbeing, and even more so for the sake of my daughter.’

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The funds are collected by Beam, who then buy the training on behalf of the members when the target is reached.

So far, £10,000 has been donated, and we think it’s a brilliant idea.

Each ‘member’ on the site has been recommended and referred by leading homeless charities as someone who is ready to take the next step and just needs a hand to do it.

At the moment there are nine people seeking funding, and more will be accepted as each reach their goals.

Rachid

‘A year ago, I had a home and a family. Then one day I got home to something shocking – my partner had left me and taken everything,’ he said.

‘I became depressed and, when I could not afford the rent on my own, the landlord threw me out. I had nowhere to go and began sleeping on the streets.’

There's a way to sponsor a homeless person back into work

Originally from Algeria, Rachid used to enjoy driving but didn’t have a licence in Britain.

With the help of Beam, he has now gained a full UK licence.

‘Any donation you can give to my driving lessons will take me one step closer to giving me my pride back and making me independent again,’ his page said – and he has now achieved his goal.

Marilyn

The first woman to feature on Beam, Marilyn’s dream is to become a taxi driver for people with disabilities.

‘After my parents died lots of old emotions came flooding back with the grief; memories of old relationships gone bad, domestic violence,’ she said.

There's a way to sponsor a homeless person back into work

‘My drinking spiralled and I began abusing prescription drugs. Eventually I became so depressed they admitted me to hospital for a fortnight.

‘Here I became abstinent and I’ve remained so since. After discharge I underwent a long period of therapy which has left me feeling more confident and ready to think about my future.’

‘Now I’m in a better place my mind returned to an idea I’d had whilst caring for my wheelchair-bound dad. What if there was a quick and easy taxi company for those with disabilities? Getting my PCO licence will allow me to go into work at a major taxi firm.

‘From here, I plan to start saving so I can launch my own social business and give back to a society that’s provided me with a second go at things…at an age when most people retire!’

To read more about the members on Beam and their stories, click here. 

Founder Alex Stephany, who was previously CEO of Just Park, told Metro.co.uk that his goal was to harness the power of social campaigns to help with the growing problem of homelessness in the UK.

There are over 8,000 people are sleeping on the streets in Britain, and over 200,000 ‘hidden homeless’ people living in temporary accommodation like hostels.

If you’re an employer and you can can help by offering an employment opportunity, Beam would love you to get in touch. 

How does Beam work?

It is a social business rather than a charity, and has been set up with the help of grants, such as from the Mayor of London and Nesta.

When people donate, they are asked to pay a small contribution to fund the site as well as their donation to the campaign. 

Members are selected in partnership with leading homelessness charities like St Mungo’sThames Reach and The House of St Barnabas

Once someone has found paid work through training on the site, they agree to pay forward a small percentage of their income to help others in their campaigns.

They will also be given the chance to mentor others in their steps forward.