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Homelessness: Driving change

Ealing Work West and the council’s housing service have co-funded a project delivered by Beam to help homeless people – including rough sleepers and residents in temporary accommodation – find work.

Read the inspiring stories of Ealing residents, who have been helped by this project so far.

Meet Keith

As a result of the pandemic, Keith struggled to find stable work as a minicab driver. With less income he was unable to pay his car insurance and without this, was no longer able to work as a driver. Soon after, he couldn’t afford to pay his rent or support his children. He began to sleep in his car until he was moved into temporary accommodation. Thankfully, his support worker at Ealing Winter Churches Night Shelter referred him to Beam to secure new employment.

Through Beam, Keith raised £4,427 from 180 members of the public, which funded his multi-craft course diploma, construction licence (CSCS card), a laptop and work clothes. In May he started as a full-time carpenter for Twickenham Stadium, earning £16 an hour.

Keith said: “I’ve worked as a plumber’s mate before and my ultimate goal is to get back to that. I’m happy to look for labourer work at first and then once I’ve completed my training, I’ll hopefully be able to utilise my new skills at work. In the longer term, I’d love to buy some land that I can build on and live sustainably by growing my own food.”

Rob’s story

Rob was made redundant during COVID-19. With the state of the job market, he found it impossible to secure a new job, which led to him sleeping on the streets. Thankfully, he found solace at a homeless hostel in Ealing, where his support worker referred him to Beam so he could retrain, find work and move into a new, rented property.

Rob raised £4,566 with Beam in 25 days to cover his rental deposit, first month’s rent, homeware essentials, moving van, laptop and internet subscription, a construction licence (CSCS card) and a course to work on construction cranes, plus travel to work and work clothes.

Rob is currently completing his training, whilst he searches for a rental property to call home. Beam has helped him to search for affordable properties, and will help with negotiating a tenancy agreement, once he finds somewhere suitable.

Rob said: “I want to work in construction as it has been one of the few sectors that have been open during COVID so it will give me a good job security with opportunities to progress. I’m looking forward to being able to get back on my feet and start living my life again because it feels like my life has been put on hold while I’ve been homeless. It feels nice to know that with all this drama going on in the world, people still want to help each other.”

Meet Gordon

Gordon became homeless after he was asked to leave his family home due to his age and limited space. Thankfully, he found help with a homeless hostel in Ealing and was referred to Beam.

Through Beam Gordon raised £2,821, covering his rental deposit, first month’s rent, homeware essentials, moving van, laptop, internet subscription, travel to work and work clothes.

Beam assisted Gordon with updating his CV, job applications and interview preparation. This helped him to secure a new job as a warehouse operative and he has been working ever since. After finding work, Gordon has now moved out of the hostel into his own private rented property.

Gordon said: “Becoming homeless can be very stressful. You lose all sense of stability in your life. This is not ideal in any time but especially during a pandemic. The emotional stress starts to become energy-draining. All these factors made it hard for me to secure enough work to financially propel myself into a secure housing situation.”

Experiencing housing issues?

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, please get in touch with council’s housing solutions team on 020 8825 8888 or 020 8825 8881, 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. You can also email housadv@ealing.gov.uk.

Join Beam’s programme

Eligible residents can be referred to Beam by their Ealing housing officer or support worker. There is also an option to self-refer on Beam’s website.

Be the change

Our partners at Beam support residents into a career and new home. You can help fund a homeless person’s training and housing and remove other financial challenges they face.

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