Aberdeen City Council tackles homelessness with new technology-led initiative

Aberdeen City Council tackles homelessness with new technology-led initiative

Aberdeen City Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to adopt a new technology-led approach to tackling homelessness.

The council has partnered with an online fundraising platform and social enterprise, Beam, which helps homeless people and council tenants at risk of homelessness to find jobs.

Beam was first launched in London in 2017 and has since gone on to support more than 850 homeless people across the UK into stable jobs and homes. Through Beam’s platform, residents can fundraise for the cost of items that can be a financial obstacle to starting work, such as job training, childcare, a laptop and, travel costs.

As well as providing funding support, Beam has also built tools to aid job seekers with CV writing, job interview preparation, and online job applications. Beam then matches residents with employers it has partnerships with.

Beam honours the council’s strong commitment to reduce homelessness across Aberdeen and aligns with the rapid rehousing transition plan which aims to end homelessness in Aberdeen by 2024.

Councillor Miranda Radley, convener for operational delivery committee, said: “We are delighted that Aberdeen is the first local authority in Scotland to work in partnership with Beam.

“Offering individuals the support they need in getting back into employment is paramount in finding a route out of homelessness for good.”

Council co-leader, Councillor Ian Yuill, added: “Eradicating homelessness in Aberdeen is an ambitious target but one we are determined to achieve. Working collaboratively with organisations like this, we can end homelessness in Aberdeen.”

Seb Barker, co-founder and chief operating officer of Beam, said: “Beam is using technology to empower the most disadvantaged people in our society, by giving them an online support network and all the tools they need to accelerate their journey into stable work or housing.

“We look forward to working with local employers in Aberdeen who want to play their part in improving social mobility and hiring overlooked talent to fill skills shortages.”

The scheme will initially support 30 homeless residents into jobs over a 12-month period. Residents are referred to the scheme by the city council’s housing service, and each person is assigned a caseworker from Beam, who supports them on their journey into a stable job.

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