Fletcher Street Cottage has welcomed the arrival of three new community support workers to help the growing number of locals facing the challenges of homelessness.
As the Shire’s community of rough sleepers struggles through a colder-than-average winter, Omar, Anna and Frankie (not pictured) have provided a much-needed boost to the team at the Cottage.
They will be helping to run the community breakfast, which takes place at the Cottage every weekday morning, and helping people to access washing and shower services.
They will also have a key role in connecting rough sleepers and others experiencing, or at risk of homelessness with a range of other supports and services.
‘It’s great getting to know the community,’ Frankie told The Echo on her first day in the job on Monday.
‘This is a much-needed and highly-utilised service, especially after the floods.’
Fletcher Street Cottage has been inundated with requests for help since opening in April, receiving 570 visits from locals seeking assistance in its first 21 days of operation alone.
Those coming to the centre have a wide range of needs from rough sleepers needing a bed, to those who lost their homes in the floods who are still awaiting insurance payouts and the completion of renovation and reconstruction work.
The Byron Community Centre, responsible for the overall management of the Cottage, is hoping that the community will continue to dig deep and donate so that the new staff can be employed well into the future.
Neither the Cottage nor the Centre receive any government funding, and so rely on the generosity and support of the community.
Fletcher Street Cottage is open Monday to Friday, with a breakfast service from 7am to 9am, access to showers and laundry from 7am to 12pm, and additional office support from 9am to 12pm.
Individual support appointments are available with community workers and a range of visiting services.