18.2 C
Byron Shire
July 6, 2022

Byron to provide crisis accom again

Latest News

Value of the intangible and Suffolk Parks future

It’s hard to know what value to place on the environment – until it changes irrevocably.  A place is defined...

Other News

Developer fees and charges cut

Council fees for construction and development in Byron were the equivalent of paying $160 for a coffee, making it ‘entirely unviable’ to invest here, industry representatives told the Council last week.

Lake Ainsworth

The heavy rain on 28–30 March 2022 resulted in flooding of Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head to about 2m...

Bangalow clinches thriller in rugby derby against Byron Bay

Bangalow beat Byron Bay on the final bell 21–20 in front of a home crowd last Saturday after a...

The ‘Court of Public Opinion’

The corona investigative committee is moving forward. Time is needed to assimilate the proceedings of this very important investigation,...

Australian-first Surf Series and workshops ends in Lennox Head on Sunday

It might be cold outside but that's not stopping women who love to surf and over 100 women and girls will participate in the first female event series in Australia on Sunday at Lennox Head.

Teen missing from Coffs Harbour

NSW Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a teenager missing in the Coffs Harbour area.

Dayna Suchoparek, Community Support Worker at Byron Community Centre.
Photo Jeff Dawson

Tucked away in a quiet corner of a local caravan park, a small, bright cabin sits beside the sea.

It’s the kind of dwelling that would normally fetch a high price on the short-term holiday rental market.

But this particular home will be occupied for free.

After nearly a year of negotiations between the Byron Community Centre and Byron Council, the cabin will, next month, become one of the Shire’s first temporary dwellings for vulnerable community members.

Services moved from area

Byron Shire has been home to crisis accommodation in the past, but over the past decade, these valuable services have been moved out of the Shire as part of the so-called ‘centralisation’ of social services.

This has seen accommodation for homeless youth and women conglomerated in the Tweed Shire and Lismore, and forced locals facing homelessness to move away from their communities and support networks.

With the local housing crisis worsening, the need for temporary crisis accommodation has grown exponentially.

‘Every day, we work with people who are experiencing homelessness and those at risk,’ says Dayna Suchoparek, Community Support Worker at Byron Community Centre.

‘When people don’t have somewhere to rest and feel safe, they experience heightened emotions as they are always on high alert’.

‘We know that when people are living in this state and in survival mode, it has a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing.

‘People need the opportunity to have somewhere they can rest and recuperate to help them regain the capacity to work on the many challenges they face.’

Caravan parks

The idea of using dwellings in local caravan parks for badly-needed crisis accommodation was first floated by Byron Community Centre in late 2020.

But finding an operator who was willing and able to take part proved to be a tough ask.

Eventually, having been turned away by every caravan park they spoke to, the centre approached Byron Council, which owns two such parks in the Shire, in the hope that it could encourage at least one of them to take part.

Finally, one of the Council-owned parks agreed, and the Council is now renting the cabin to the Byron Community Centre with the help of the Vasudhara Foundation, which has agreed to foot the bill via the WildWomen Fund.

Donors pitch in

Other donors have also pitched in with furnishings to help turn the cabin into a comfortable, safe and welcoming space.   

‘We’ve already got someone in mind to move into the cabin who we’ve been working with,’ said the Community Centre’s Homelessness Projects Manager, Jenny Ryan.

‘Other possible cabin users will be identified through Fletcher Street Cottage, at the breakfasts, showers, engagement with the community workers, and also through collaboration with the key stakeholders who form the End Rough Sleeping Byron Shire Collaboration.’

‘We need more cabins like this – there is a lot of need out there.’

‘But this is a good start and hopefully it will be the catalyst for other similar projects.’

The exact location of the cottage is not being disclosed publicly, because some of those making use of the space may be at risk of ongoing family violence.


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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hang on, let me make sure I have this straight.

    Byron Shire Council is wasting ratepayers money on (another) gab-fest about affordable housing but had to be begged to allow one lousy cabin it’s Caravan parks to be used for short term housing.

    OK.

    Why not use the Caravan Parks the way they used to be used: as low cost housing for people?

    Or is that too obvious for the elites crammed into the latest talk-fest?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Where is the love?

I have lived in Mullum and the surrounding hills for 35 years.  Yesterday I drove to Upper Main Arm, to Kohinur, to visit a friend,...

Flood help information from Chinderah, and Uki to South Golden Beach

The floods in February and March are still having direct impacts on the lives of many people and Serice NSW has a trailer coming to a location near you so you can easily access flood assistance.

Weaving through NAIDOC

DJ and Delta with some of the Weaving for Reconciliation exhibits. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Management of Byron’s fragile coastline impeded by NSW government: report

Insufficient funding and guidance from the State government is inhibiting Byron Council’s attempt to effectively manage its famous but fragile coastline, a Council report has revealed.