A CROWDFUNDING charity that helps homeless people to find the funding and support that they need for access to stable housing and employment has supported more than 120 people during the pandemic.
Jay is one of those supported by the social-enterprise charity Beam in retraining as a carer and finding a place to live in London. Beam is a crowdfunding platform that allows donors to help people back on their feet.
Jay was made homeless after a relationship broke down last Christmas. He relied for a while on friends, staying on sofas, but often had to walk the streets of London at night before resting during the day at friends’ houses. He could not turn to his church, he said, as it was shut during lockdown; so he turned to friends instead.
Jay is about to begin retraining as a carer after crowdfunding £1346 through Beam to pay for a course.
“Working as a carer has always been on my heart, especially as when I was homeless I saw at first hand how difficult it is for those who are vulnerable and without support. I prayed to God for his help and guidance, and he has helped me to overcome the difficulties I have had.”
Princella, a single mother, has also been helped by the charity to raise £2422 to pay for a qualification in care work, childcare while she attends the course, and a new laptop and phone. Princella and her two children lost their home when her aunt died.
She said: “When you go through tough times, it’s understandable to question why God has put you in that position. For me, I always know that he is with me, and that, one day, things will be OK. I want to be a carer because, as a Christian, being sympathetic to others is a part of who I am. I have an open heart, and I want to ensure that I use it to help others.”
Beam was set up by Alex Stephany, who was inspired to set up the crowdfunding site after getting to know, at his local Tube station, a homeless man who had spent decades out of work.
Supporters of Beam, which was founded four years ago, have so far raised £1.9 million to help 237 people back into work and into housing.