London entrepreneur Alex Stephany thinks tech is key to getting people into work and eradicating poverty. His model, Beam, uses an online platform to rally a homeless person’s community closer around them until they have the skills to support themselves.
Beam is a crowdfunding platform developed by Stephany, whose passion for the so-called sharing economy led him to write a book on the concept and even advise the city of Seoul on it. The project opens up opportunities for homeless people, who might otherwise be shut out of work, by fundraising for them to attend training which will help them get into employment. Beam members tell their own stories in their own words and their progress can be
tracked online while they crowdfund themselves back into work.
Jon Sparkes, Crisis chief executive, said employment plays an important role in reducing social exclusion. “Homelessness has a devastating impact on people’s lives, causing feelings of exclusion and isolation from society. This can have serious knock-on effects on people’s ability to get into work and leave homelessness behind for good.
“Specialist services providing coaching, combined with help that addresses other problems like housing and mental health issues, are vital to helping homeless people into employment. Some people will need relatively little support to find and keep a job, but others, especially those with a lack of skills, training, and qualifications, or who experience mental health issues and disabilities, will need much more.”
That’s why Beam works with charities that help provide the extra support some homeless people need before they launch their crowdfunder.