Tech start-up launches to tackle homelessness
A new start-up supported by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is using crowdfunding technology to help homeless people get into regular work.
Beam has been launched by entrepreneur and serial tech CEO Alex Stephany, the former boss of technology platform JustPark, to help reduce the number of rough sleepers in Britain.
Figures released by charity Shelter last week revealed that more than 300,000 people are now homeless in the UK, including 125,000 children.
“I believe people want to help but feel powerless," said Stephany said.
"Crowdfunding technology makes it safe and easy to help someone out of homelessness for the long-term.”
Beam crowdfunds money for homeless people to undertake employment training in areas construction, teaching, plumbing, electrics or driving professionally, then supports them into stable employment.
Members are referred through partnerships with more than 10 registered homelessness charities, including St Mungo’s, Centrepoint and Thames Reach.
The model has won the backing and support of Sadiq Khan and Beam ambassador James Bowen, author of A Street Cat Named Bob, as well as a number of "leading tech entrepreneurs".
The start-up has just completed an initial test stage with five homeless people and is now officially launching its innovative model.
Beam’s first member is Tony, a homeless man living in a hostel in South East London. In less than a month, he successfully funded his campaign to train up as an electrician, raising £4,378 from 136 supporters.
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