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Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Push to help Byron’s homeless

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The team behind the renovation of the Byron Community Centre’s Fletcher Street Cottage to reopen as Byron’s hub for homelessness: Creative Capital (Habitat), DFJ Architects, Ardill Payne, Planners North. Fletcher Street Cottage art installation – Campaign tracker palm tree by Brenden Brown

A fundraising campaign by Byron Community Centre and Creative Capital has launched to assist in the reopening of Fletcher Street Cottage for Byron’s homeless community.

Co-organiser, Katie Love, says the reopening of Fletcher Street Cottage will be without government funding, and will rely on community support to provide this service hub for our community’s most vulnerable.

The aim is to raise $250,000 to renovate the building, she says, which is owned by Council.

Previously it ran as a drop-in centre, and closed five years ago, owing to lack of funding.

‘Planned improvements include fitting it out with furniture, building a commercial kitchen, adding showers, storage lockers, and turning the front and back yards into a safe and welcoming refuge’.

One-stop-shop

Louise O’Connell, Byron Community Centre general manager described it as a ‘one-stop-shop, where people can come and have breakfast, access a counsellor, have a shower, do their laundry, talk to housing specialists and access other services’.

While funding has been secured through the Goninan Foundation for a manager to run the new homelessness hub, Fletcher Street Cottage will need additional donations, beyond the renovations, to help keep the lights on, because it’s reopening without any government support.

A local woman who used to frequent Fletcher Street Cottage, says that when she had no fixed address, ‘You are predominately in survival mode, so your nervous system and adrenal glands are exhausted. Anywhere you can find, where you can experience some calm and a sense of safety, is so important’. Tax deductible donations can be made at Fletcher Street Cottage.


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