A boost for homeless

Homeless people in Byron Bay will soon be able to access a host of new services from a cottage in Fletcher Street.

The council-owned building, which until recently housed a car rental business, is about to be turned into a drop-in centre, with facilities including showers, laundry and lockers for homeless people, along with support services like counselling.

Byron Bay Community Centre director Paul Spooner and the Salvation Army’s Major Darren Elsley are behind the new centre, having successfully lobbied Byron Council to lease it to them earlier this year.

Mr Spooner said the community centre had seen a 40 per cent increase in demand for relief services, and a new centre would help with the growing need.

The Salvation Army will run the centre in partnership with the community centre and St Vincent de Paul.

It is hoped that a GP may eventually be available for one half-day a week.

Mr Spooner said the aim was to help restore people’s dignity and get them back on their feet.

Byron Council has agreed to subsidise the rent.

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