Homeless residents crowdfunded back into work
17 March 2021
A young homeless man whose housing issues were preventing him from finding a job has been helped by a partnership between the council and a crowdfunding enterprise.
Jamal, 25, said he was brought to his knees when he was forced to sofa surf at friends’ houses and was unable to find work because he had no fixed address.
But when he contacted the council for help in October last year, his life was turned around for the better after the housing team put him touch with a crowdfunding organisation called Beam.
Now Jamal is privately renting a room in a house share in Wembley, and working in construction after Beam helped him to crowdfund £1,972. He has been labouring on a site in Wembley since February following a referral by Beam to Brent Works.
“Brent and Beam really helped me out when I was down on my knees, looking for a dime,” Jamal said. “I am really grateful from the bottom of my heart to everyone who crowdfunded me. It's crazy to think that people I've never met have helped me out. A few months ago, I was feeling completely low and now I'm in work I can see a much brighter future.”
Jamal is one of nine homeless Brent residents who have launched crowdfunding campaigns with Beam, and one of three who are now in fulltime employment.
The Brent-Beam partnership is a year-long project that has been running for six months. It aims to help 50 Brent residents with their housing needs and get them back into work by October this year.
So far, 48 people in the borough have been referred on to Beam, either by Brent Housing, Brent Works or St Mungo’s charity, showing a huge demand for the service. Generous givers have crowdfunded more than £12,000 to help unemployed Brent residents with their housing needs and job searches.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “I’m so thrilled that people have been so generous with crowdfunding Brent residents like Jamal, so that they can secure a home and find work. We want to help people leave homelessness behind forever, and our partnership with Beam, alongside our council house building programme and wholly owned housing company, is helping to support residents towards brighter futures.”
Call to action:
- If you would like to crowdfund a Brent resident struggling with housing issues by helping them back into work, you can donate via Beam.
- If you are a Brent resident threatened with homelessness or are already homeless, you can contact Brent Housing for support.
Photo of Jamal below.