How much would you be willing to give to stop homelessness? The price of a cup of coffee? An hour of your wages? Ten per cent of your daily income for one day?
Thursday October 10 is World Homeless Day (WHD) and two local blokes are doing what they can to reduce the numbers of homeless in the area.
Byron Zero Homeless Day is being founded by Byron Shire councillor Paul Spooner and business entrepreneur and music festival owner Brandon Saul. It is based on the international movement that has been successfully rolled out in Adelaide.
Spooner and Saul’s longterm goal is to get all businesses in Byron to donate a percentage of sales on one day to help end people sleeping rough in Byron. Money raised will support the Byron Zero Homeless Project, which is aiming to place tiny homes around the shire, so people have safe places to sleep.
The project will launch at Habitat in Byron this year with the aim to raise $3k–$6k.
‘Habitat businesses are giving 10 per cent of sales on the day,’ says Brandon Saul. ‘Habitat management are donating the retail rents from the day.’
‘I’ve been thinking about what we have been doing around Byron with affordable housing and the homeless,’ says Cr Spooner. ‘What we have been doing as a community with support is great – the breakfasts, the clothing – we’ve been doing all those sorts of things, yet the problem keeps getting bigger and it’s more visible. The street counts keep getting bigger.
‘This is about housing people. That’s the end game. Unless we provide housing the problem just gets bigger and bigger.’