20.4 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Homelessness Week refocusing attention on those in need

Latest News

Tweed Council to write to government for more housing support

With a shortage of affordable housing in most areas of the Far North Coast, it is not surprising that Tweed is also feeling the pinch and Council has declared a housing emergency in the area owing to a lack of availability and affordability.

Other News

Jungle juice

There are times when water just doesn’t cut it. And luckily, for those times, there is Jungle Juice.

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only...

Music photos

Jack Paten, Shellharbour Over the years I have collected various photos from the past of Australian Country Music history and am...

MVP is its own award

It’s easy to get excited about Byron’s new MVP restaurant in Lawson St – it’s not only got standout dishes such as Blue Spirulina Linguine with blue swimmer crab and Yamba prawns, and Fettuccine al Ragù with Hayters Hill beef ragù sauce, feta and baby peas, but it’s also all sustainably sourced from local growers, available in takeaway (even delivered if you’re close to town) and more than half of the menu is plant-based.

Increase in remote access scams

Local financial institutions say there has been an increase in remote access scams experienced by customers recently.

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable...

Paul Bibby

The Byron Community Centre (BCC) has reported an increase in people asking for help at its outreach services, as the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to be felt across the Shire.

Byron Community Centre Community Support Worker Ianna Murphy. Image supplied.

With the country to mark Homelessness Awareness Week from August 3, community worker Ianna Murphy said there was a particular need to acknowledge those without a fixed address this year.

‘During COVID the isolation of homelessness was depressingly obvious to me as a

community worker on the ground,’ Ms Murphy said.

‘The usually overcrowded and bustling streets of Byron were left deserted, and although a refreshing change for locals, those members of our community with nowhere else to go were left out to stand out.

Byron Community Centre community workers report that while some requirements for obtaining temporary community housing have eased, that the overall number of homeless people has increased.

‘The easing of some requirements that are necessary to obtain temporary accommodation such proof of identity – which many homeless people do not have owing to lack of security – allowed for more of our homeless population to access this service’, Ms Murphy said.

‘Many of our long-term rough sleepers in the Shire have accessed this service, and have, or are in the process, of moving forward with community housing options.

‘However, homelessness has not reduced during COVID-19, and we are still seeing the same numbers, if not more.’

While Byron has both a long-term rough sleeping demographic, it also has a large transient homeless population, which has appeared to remain prominent during COVID-19.

The Centre said the movement of some people was related to the closure of many services, owing to COVID restrictions and safety of volunteers.

‘I hope the new normal is support and feeling… being seen and heard,’ Ms Murphy said.

‘I hope it is the community realising that given just a slight change in circumstances, and it could be anyone. It’s 2020, we need to be doing better.’

As part of Homelessness Awareness Week between August 3–7, the Byron Community Centre will be holding a COVID-19-safe homelessness connect afternoon at the Byron Community Cabin on Wednesday August 5 from 12.30pm onwards.

All community members are welcome to attend and enjoy a free BBQ.


Byron Community Centre Homelessness Services

Homeless Breakfast, Wednesday, 7.30AM – 9:00AM

Homeless Showers, Monday & Wednesday, 10:00AM- 12.30PM (Book in at Fletcher St

Kitchen by 8.00am)

Severe Weather Shelter signs at Byron Community Centre on days open with instructions.

Liberation Larder meals, Monday & Thursday, 7.00AM – 9.30AM & 12PM – 1.30PM

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Simon Richardson steps down as Byron Shire Mayor

In an eventful day for Byron Shire Council, pot-stirrer Fast Buck$ was ejected from the council chambers yesterday and later Cr Simon Richardson announced that he will be stepping down as mayor from the end of next week.

Pay parking for Lennox Head?

Yesterday's Ballina Shire Council meeting saw councillors raise the spectre of paid parking at Lennox Head, and possibly elsewhere in the shire.

They will not be forgotten…

In the wake of the pandemic restrictions, ANZAC Day will be commemorated in a COVID safe fashion and some areas will ask residents to...

East Ballina Lions desperately needs new members

East Ballina Lions Club has given over thirty years of service to numerous community programs and initiatives, but if it doesn't get more members soon, it will have to close.