GIMME SHELTER: Steph Rouillon, driving force behind the Songs for Swags Concert Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News
GIMME SHELTER: Steph Rouillon, driving force behind the Songs for Swags Concert Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News Christian Morrow

Songs for Swags helps the homeless in Byron Bay

THE prospect of finding herself homeless with two children in Byron Bay was the catalyst for Steph Rouillon to organise the Songs for Swags Concert on Saturday September 21 at Apex Park in Byron Bay.

The event will raise money to buy sleeping swags for the Byron Bay Salvation Army to distribute to those sleeping on the streets of the shire.

Steph has drafted in a great line-up of local bands including Simon Jerrems, Luke Morris, Richie Williams, Chad Wilkins, Tatu Lu and Hunter and Smoke along with guest MC Tommy Franklin.

Kicking off at 2pm, the concert will be a celebration of community spirit aimed at raising awareness about the problem of homelessness in the Byron Bay Shire.

When Steph herself received a letter of termination for her permanent rental in August she had just two weeks to find a new home for herself and the children.

"As a single mother my budget was small and there were very few permanent rentals on offer in town," she said.

"It highlighted the lack of affordable housing here in Byron Bay.

"As a nursing student with a qualification in community services I already had some insight into Byron Shire's community services and the scarcity of services for those who are homeless.

"Being homeless is not just sleeping out in the park; there are many categories of people who are experiencing homelessness."

Songs for Swags event will also include a charity auction with a number of Byron Bay businesses already donating prizes.

Steph will also be fundraising over the coming week looking to come up with the rest of the money for public liability insurance to cover the event

For more information or to donate call: 0411 368 843.


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