A new initiative to help the homeless get back into work and put a roof over their head has been launched.
Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) and online fundraising company Beam are working together to support those who are at risk of sleeping rough find work and stable accommodation.
People can read on Beam's website the personal stories of people who are in need, and donate towards the cost of things which would help them get back on their feet, such as job training, childcare, a laptop, travel costs or rental deposits.
Each person's page includes an itemised budget breakdown of how much they need to raise.
Those who have donated or commented can receive updates as the person's progresses on their journey out of homelessness.
Beam ensures everyone reaches their target by spreading out 80% of public donations equally, so no one gets left behind.
People are referred to the scheme by MBC’s housing workers, and each person is assigned a caseworker from Beam who guides them on their journey into work and housing.
Cllr Simon Webb, lead member for housing and health, said: “By working with organisations like Beam we can help people to get individual, tailored support to start a job-seeking journey.
"Offering individuals the support they need in getting back into employment is paramount in finding a route out of homelessness for good."
As well as this initiative, Maidstone Homeless centre in Knightrider Street also offers a lifeline for those in need of support.
This month the charity launched its 21st You Can Help campaign, supported by the Messenger, and is collecting financial donations, as well as food, clothes, hygiene items, and gifts for the homeless.
Cllr Webb added: "No one should have to experience homelessness.
"We’re determined to help anyone who finds themselves in this position to gain access to a decent home and a brighter future.”
Beam first launched in London in 2017, and has gone on to support more than 1,200 homeless people across the country into stable jobs and homes.
It also helps job-seekers with CV writing, job interview preparation and online applications.
'No one should have to experience homelessness...'
Beam then matches them with local employers and landlords.
Seb Barker, co-founder and chief operating officer at Beam, said: “We are 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 and housing.
“We look forward to working with local employers in Maidstone who want to play their part in improving social mobility and hiring overlooked talent to fill skills shortages.”