13.8 C
Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Byron homeless hub forced to cut vital services

Latest News

We Like to Tiki: Caper festival closing party this Sunday

North Byron Hotel is the official watering hole of Caper Byron Bay Food & Culture Festival 2024. To celebrate...

Other News

Danny’s world

Danny Wakil would have us believe that Israel is a sweet little peace-loving ‘sister democracy’ that can do no...

Contraband, Chile’s 9/11 and black ops 

Putting the life of local adventurer Chris Dewhirst into print would be no easy task. But he’s managed to do it, in part, with Everest Guns & Money.

Foodie fest on the table

Food and culture takes centre stage this week, as Caper Byron Bay Food & Culture Festival returns May 17 to 26.

Angels Beach Drive, East Ballina temporarily closed today

Angels Beach Drive, East Ballina has been temporarily closed due to a broken water main just north of Prospect Bridge.

The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are being silly in a film take of the ‘80s television series: The Fall Guy. He’s a stuntman, and like everyone in the stunt community, he gets blown up, shot, crashed, thrown through windows and dropped from the highest of heights, all for our entertainment. And now, fresh off an almost career-ending accident, this working-class hero has to track down a missing movie star, solve a conspiracy, and try to win back the love of his life while still doing his day job. What could possibly go right?

Stone & Wood wins at Australian International Beer Awards

Stone & Wood Brewing are proud to announce a big win at the Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards held last night, with the brewery’s Big Pale Ale taking home the title of Champion Australian Beer. Big Pale Ale also took out the Best Australian Pale Ale category.

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

Byron’s only homeless hub says it has to reduce services owing to an increase in demand and a lack of government funding.

Fletcher Street Cottage management say regrettably they are ‘faced with the necessity of reducing its services from five days to four days a week, operating from Tuesday through Friday’.

They say, ‘This decision is owing to the lack of government funding causing a significant funding shortfall, jeopardising the crucial support provided to our community’s most vulnerable’.

Since its establishment in April 2022, the cottage says it has received over 13,000 visits by locals seeking help.

‘Byron Shire has the largest cohort of rough sleepers in NSW, higher than the City of Sydney’, they say.

‘The rapid increase in demand for homeless services underscores the critical role this facility plays in addressing the housing crisis, rising cost of living and rental stress experienced by many in the region’.

Byron Community Centre General Manager, Louise O’Connell, emphasised the importance of addressing these issues, stating, ‘Byron Shire is grappling with a severe affordable housing crisis, which is exacerbated with each passing day’.

‘We urgently seek government support, and sustainable funding to continue assisting the growing number of people in need’.

She says the reduced hours will commence from October 23, 2023.

‘The facility currently has no ongoing state or federal government funding, and relies solely on grants and the generosity of donors and partners to assist Byron’s homeless community’.

Louise stressed the urgency of the situation, adding, ‘We are seeing people who have never come to Fletcher Street Cottage before’.

‘Families, young people and older women who have nowhere else to turn.

‘Though the organisation successfully raised $400,000 through its emergency appeal, regular donors and generous support of the community, this funding falls $600,000 short of the required annual amount’.

To get involved or donate go to: www.giveheart.au.

The office of Rose Jackson provided The Echo with a statement on the issue. Ms Jackson is the Minister for Water, Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Youth, and Minister for North Coast.

Homelessness MP

A spokesperson said that ‘We’re still in discussion to see what the state government can do to support with funding’.

NSW MP, Tamara Smith (Greens) told The Echo her party recently joined a campaign for the government to fund services at the Fletcher Street Cottage, but Ms Smith said the call appeared to have been ignored in the recent budget.

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.


  1. Government might be tired of funding homelessness in paradise when one can be just as homeless somewhere else, say Birdsville for example.

  2. Will the Byron homelessness services move from the cottage to the new facilities at the old hospital site? You’d think that would make sense>


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Spice Palace: a mecca for Middle Eastern dips and spice mixes

Victoria Cosford The business was a natural fit for Bec and Tom, new owners for the past few months, of this successful little operation.  Spice Palace,...

Byron Rebels continue strong run in local rugby union

The Byron Shire Rebels put on 83 unanswered points against Lismore Rugby Club last weekend at Shultz Oval, capping a good day for the...

Garry Simes racks up 25 finishes at Australia’s oldest ironman triathlon

Ballina Triathlon Club member Garry Simes has achieved the milestone of finishing the Port Macquarie Ironman Australia race, one of Australia’s premier events, for...

Outdoor pickleball courts for Alstonville

Alstonville now boasts tournament-standard pickleball courts that opened to an enthusiastic crowd and players earlier this month. The eight new tournament-standard outdoor courts have been...