"People I've never met helped me find a home and a job": crowdfunding turns around Wembley man's life

17 March 2021

25-year-old Jamal was homeless and struggling to find work before a crowdfunding campaign gave him the money he needed to make a new start in construction.

Jamal says he was brought to his knees when he was forced to sofa surf at friends’ houses. It left him unable to find work because he had no fixed address.

After contacting the council for help last October, Brent's housing team put him touch with Beam, a social enterprise set up to help people to leave homelessness for good.

Beam helped him to crowdfund £1,972. With support from his caseworker, the money allowed Jamal to rent a room in a house share in Wembley and secure a new job in construction via Brent Works. He has been working on-site since February.

“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.

Generous givers have crowdfunded more than £12,000 to help unemployed Brent residents with their housing needs and job searches.

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. 

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform at Brent Council, 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.”

How can I help?

  • If you would like to crowdfund a Brent resident struggling with housing issues by helping them back into work, you can donate via Beam.