In a society plagued by housing insecurity and rising homelessness rates, community organisations like Fletcher Street Cottage play a crucial role in providing vital support and assistance to those in need. However, this vital homeless service hub in Byron Bay, is currently facing a dire financial crisis due to the lack of ongoing government funding. The Byron Community Centre is urgently calling on the community to step in and help bridge the funding gap to prevent service cuts.
Byron Shire has the largest cohort of rough sleepers in NSW
The significance of this issue is underscored by shocking statistics that reveal Byron Shire has the largest cohort of rough sleepers in NSW, surpassing even the City of Sydney. This pressing situation emphasises the urgent need for sustained and increased support for Fletcher Street Cottage. There were 300 people rough sleepers counted across the Byron Shire by the NSW Government in February 2023. This needs to change! Fletcher Street Cottage is working overtime responding to this crisis and to meet the needs of our locals who need it most, through essential services and practical support - but we need your help!
A Beacon of Hope for Locals Facing Housing Insecurity
Since opening its doors in April 2022, Fletcher Street Cottage has been a beacon of hope for the local community facing housing insecurity. Over 10,000 visits to the service have been recorded, highlighting the tremendous impact and reliance placed on the cottage by those in need. However, the absence of ongoing government funding has plunged Fletcher Street Cottage into a critical financial crisis, jeopardising its ability to continue providing essential services to the homeless community in Byron Bay.
The Consequences of Insufficient Funding
Without additional funding, Fletcher Street Cottage will be forced to scale back its operations, leading to a reduction in services for those who rely on the cottage as their primary support system. This potential outcome would have devastating consequences for Byron's homeless community. Mathew Broster, a service user who has transitioned from a rough sleeper to emergency accommodation, emphasised the significance of Fletcher Street Cottage's services, expressing gratitude for the breakfast, hot showers and laundry facilities provided. The potential loss of any of these services would be deeply distressing for individuals like Mathew, who have found solace and support through the cottage.
The Impact of Fletcher Street Cottage
Fletcher Street Cottage has made a remarkable impact in the lives of those facing homelessness and housing insecurity. In the past year alone, the cottage has provided over 10,500 breakfasts, 5,000 showers and laundry washes, and facilitated 2,600 support appointments through its team of dedicated Community Support Workers. These support appointments encompass emergency relief, information, referrals and advocacy services, demonstrating the vital role played by Fletcher Street Cottage in addressing the multifaceted needs of the homeless community.
Homelessness Week 2023: Raising Awareness and Funding
Aligned with Homelessness Week 2023, which runs from August 7th to 13th, Fletcher Street Cottage is actively working to raise awareness and secure the funding needed to sustain its operations. The cottage's team urgently appeals to the community, local businesses and philanthropic organisations to contribute generously to ensure the continuity of these vital services. Every donation, regardless of its size, will make a significant difference in supporting Fletcher Street Cottage's mission to assist locals facing housing insecurity.
Give Heart: Support Our Local Rough Sleepers
Preserving a Lifeline
Kate Love, Acting Manager of Fletcher Street Cottage, emphasises the importance of the community's generosity and compassion in bridging the funding gap. She highlights that by coming together, donors can preserve the lifeline that Fletcher Street Cottage represents for individuals facing tough circumstances. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society have access to the necessary support and care to overcome their challenges and thrive.
About Fletcher Street Cottage
Fletcher Street Cottage serves as a welcoming, safe and respectful place for people experiencing homelessness to receive practical relief, establish connections and access broader support. In the face of Byron Shire's housing crisis, the cottage offers assistance with housing, mental health, medical care, advocacy and referrals. Additionally, it provides essential amenities such as a safe place to have breakfast, access to showers and laundry facilities, and a supportive environment for locals to meet their everyday needs
Services Offered by Fletcher Street Cottage
- Individual Support: Community Support Workers provide personalised care, information, referral and advocacy.
- Practical Support: The cottage offers a healthy breakfast, hot showers, laundry facilities and additional office support.
- Visiting Services: Centrelink, housing, clothing, medical care, hairdressing, podiatry services and much more are available through the cottage.
By supporting Fletcher Street Cottage, the community can make a significant impact in improving the lives of those facing homelessness in Byron Bay. Together, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive society that provides essential support to those in need.
How to Donate
To donate and support Fletcher Street Cottage, please visit https://www.byroncentre.com.au/fsc/emergency-appeal. All donations are tax deductible. For those interested in making larger donations or discussing how they can assist in the mission to help those most in need, please contact Kate Love at 0448 141 490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of Fletcher Street
Become a friend of Fletcher Street Cottage and help us to keep meeting the growing needs of our community
- Fundraise within your Network
We rely on the generosity of our community to keep the doors open.
We'd love your support to raise funds through your network, and help keep our services flowing and expanding. Fundraise on our behalf today.
- Make an In-Kind Donation
Fletcher Street Cottage relies on generous in-kind product and services donations to function.
If you'd like to support us with a one-off or ongoing donation of products or services, we'd love to hear from you!
- Become a Share Partner
Use your voice to share what Fletcher Street Cottage is doing in the Shire.
Sharing helps boost the funding and support we rely so much upon year on year and continue meeting the growing needs of our community.
Fletcher Street Cottage stands as a crucial lifeline for Byron Bay's homeless community, providing essential services and support in the face of a housing crisis and rising living costs. Urgent funding is needed to prevent service cuts and sustain the invaluable assistance provided by the cottage. As Homelessness Week 2023 approaches, the call to action becomes even more pressing. By donating to Fletcher Street Cottage, each member of the community can play a significant role in helping those in need and ensuring that no one is left behind in the fight against homelessness. Together, we can bridge the financial gap and uphold the mission of Fletcher Street Cottage to support locals experiencing homelessness in Byron Bay.