27.6 C
Byron Shire
September 26, 2023

Byron homelessness service faces funding shortfall

Latest News

School holidays: farmers’ market fun

It’s an image still with me, the little boy dancing in front of the stage, face split into a smile of pure joy, orange balloon floating from his fingers, his father bopping alongside.

Other News

No more Hottentot

I have received a petition from Change.org to change the name of Hottentot Crescent, Mullumbimby to another South African...

If not ‘Yes’ now, then when?

Being a Ten Pound Pom, I knew nothing of the history of massacres and dispossession of this continent’s first peoples when I arrived here in 1965.

Jali Land Council accused of land grab

Around 80 residents of Cabbage Tree Island, just south of Wardell, say they want to return home after the 2022 floods, but the Local Aboriginal Land Council, Jali, have other ideas.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Big Polluters are Getting Off

Offsets don’t work. They have become a licence to pollute. What we actually need is a reduction in carbon emissions, not carbon-emitting industries to greenwash their impact by investing in a solar farm or planting saplings. While it’s nice to know that big polluters are keen to invest in green industry it would be better if they just stopped polluting. You know what’s better than offsets?

Too many councillors?

For years some close to Tweed Shire Council (TSC) have tried to lower councillor numbers. Why? Say you have...

School holidays: farmers’ market fun

It’s an image still with me, the little boy dancing in front of the stage, face split into a smile of pure joy, orange balloon floating from his fingers, his father bopping alongside.

Managers, staff and vollies from the Fletcher Street Cottage. Photo supplied.

A vital homelessness service in the heart of Byron Bay could be forced to cut services without additional donations from the community.

Fletcher Street Cottage has provided thousands of breakfasts, showers and support appointments to the Shire’s ballooning homeless population since it opened in April last year.

But without any on-going government funding, and with community support dwindling, the service is struggling to keep up the flow of support.

‘Having any of the services cut at Fletcher Street Cottage would be a devastating loss,’ said Mathew Broster, who was sleeping rough on the streets of Byron before receiving help from the staff and volunteers at Fletcher Street.

‘I’m one of the lucky ones… going from being a rough sleeper to finding emergency accommodation.’

With Byron’s population of rough sleepers growing to become the largest of any local government area in NSW, including the City of Sydney, the demand for the services at Fletcher Street has increased significantly.

Operating costs at $1m

As a result, the service’s annual operating costs have increased to $1 million.

Louise O’Connell, the General Manager of the Byron Community Centre, which runs the cottage, said so far community contributions had made up around 20 per cent of what was required.

‘We’ve already been forced to cut services and may have to cut more,’ Ms O’Connell said.

‘We urgently need sustained and increased support.’

With no ongoing government funding, the Byron Community Centre is calling on the community to step in and help bridge the gap.

They’re hoping that the increased awareness and publicity brought by homelessness week – commencing this coming Monday (August 7) – will inspire locals to dig deep.

‘We’re calling on the generosity and compassion of our community to help us bridge the funding gap,’ said Kate Love, Acting Manager.

‘Together, we can ensure that the most vulnerable among us have access to the support and care they need to overcome their challenges and thrive.’

In the last year, Fletcher Street Cottage says it has provided over 10,500 breakfasts, 5,000 showers and laundry washes, and 2,600 support appointments with its team of Community Support Workers. These appointments included the provision of emergency relief, information, referrals and advocacy. To donate, or support Fletcher Street Cottage, visit www.fletcherstreetcottage.com.au.

Those wanting to make a larger donation are invited to contact Kate Love on 0448 141 490 or [email protected].

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

Disaster management needs different approach, says NRCF

Disaster funding must favour social capital and community building, rather than just ‘mopping up’, the head of the philanthropic organisation, Northern Rivers Community Foundation, says.

Pre-Incan mummies found in Peru by gas workers

The mummified bodies of eight individuals have been found by city workers who were digging a natural gas line in the Carabayllo district on the outskirts of Lima, capital of Peru.

State government pledges $5m for Lismore’s Two Rooms project

More than 350 flood affected homes in the Northern Rivers region can now be repaired, getting vulnerable people back on their feet and into safe housing thanks to Resilient Lismore’s Two Rooms Project, backed by $5 million in funding from the NSW Government.

State government approves 60-day cap on short-term holiday letting in Byron

The state government has approved a new 60-day cap on non-hosted short term rental accommodation (STRA) for large parts of the Byron Shire. Most of NSW has no cap.