One of the ways Beam helps homeless people is by co-creating a personalised budget that removes all barriers to their career goal. We then list this itemised budget on the person’s campaign page.
A budget will usually include training along with any items needed to support them into work. Some examples of these extra items include:
- Travel to and from training
- A hotel or B&B if the course is outside London
- Specialist equipment
- Vehicle rental
- Or anything else needed!
When we started Beam we always wanted it to be flexible in this way. Rather than trying to work out what we can offer we instead start by planning a career focused on someone’s passions and strengths - then use the support of the crowd to resource it.
We define what Beam will fund as anything which significantly raises a person's employability but may not put them or somebody else at serious risk. We also don’t currently fund training outside the UK or any that includes prohibited areas such as firearms and weapons, pornography, tobacco, or political and religious campaigning.
One of our core values is making it happen. For this reason, although we check we’re not funding anything that’s readily available for free, we typically don’t apply to pots that may be small, slow to access, or uncertain. Instead we try to help people into work and out of homelessness as quickly as possible. Then, when people are stable in work, they can choose to pay back the money at a rate of their choosing to other people using Beam.
We raise an additional 10% on each budget we call ‘contingency’. Contingency is pooled between everyone on Beam and covers any unforeseen costs or barriers that arise during training or work. 100% of contingency is used for member-related expenses.
All money crowdfunded by Beam is held in our charity bank account and then spent in the way described in the budget.