This Christmas, Thurrock Council has launched a ground-breaking pilot scheme to support homeless residents back into work.
The council will be working with online crowdfunding platform Beam to help homeless residents access the training and support they need to ensure they leave homelessness for good by securing stable jobs.
During the initial pilot scheme, 30 people will benefit from the new partnership, from rough sleepers to those living in temporary accommodation.
The council will work closely with Beam to help residents benefit from new Thurrock jobs linked to Thames Freeport and other leading sectors across the borough.
Cllr Luke Spillman, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "We are determined to help anyone experiencing homelessness and by collaborating with organisations like Beam we can support some of the borough's most vulnerable people at a time when they need us most. Everyone should have access to a good quality home and we are committed to exploring new and innovative ways to ensure all of our residents can look forward to a brighter future."
Seb Barker, co-founder and Chief Executive of Beam said: "Since launching Beam, we've seen the incredible potential technology has to empower the most disadvantaged people in our communities. Every homeless person using Beam gets access to a smartphone or laptop and bespoke software that they can use to accelerate their journey into a stable job.
"Today, more and more local authorities are embracing innovative solutions like Beam to tackle the rise in homelessness and we're excited that Thurrock is one of them. We're especially keen to hear from local employers in Thurrock who want to play their part in improving social mobility, and hiring overlooked talent to fill skills shortages.
"We're pleased to be working with Thurrock Council to help tackle homelessness for the long-term. Beam has already helped more than 500 homeless people secure stable jobs in the UK, and we've seen the transformative effect that employment can have on someone’s wellbeing and financial situation. There are lots of ways for the local community to get involved, from making a small donation online to offering someone a job interview."
For someone to benefit from Beam's services, Thurrock Council will make a referral. Each homeless person is then assigned a caseworker from Beam, who will support them on their journey through training and on into stable work.
Individuals in the pilot scheme will get their own fundraising page on Beam's website and can crowdfund the cost of items that can be a financial obstacle to starting work such as job training, childcare, a laptop, and travel. The page will also include their story and an itemised budget breakdown of how much they need to raise. Members of the public can then donate as little as £1 and leave a message of support.