News

Homeless register debate

ON THE CARDS: At the Liberation Larder lunch are Kusha Gale, Christian George, Luan Souza and co-ordinator Helen Hamilton.
ON THE CARDS: At the Liberation Larder lunch are Kusha Gale, Christian George, Luan Souza and co-ordinator Helen Hamilton. Megan Kinninment

CREATING a register of the permanently homeless in Byron Bay will be debated by Byron Shire Council at its next meeting.

A proposal to establish a Resident Homeless Card, identifying the homeless, has been proposed by Cr Paul Spooner who said it would be a way for local services to identify those within the community who needed assistance; collect data on the extent of homelessness in the area; and, monitor trends on homelessness

The card would be a practical way to provide Medic Alert information and be a recognised identification method for police and council staff.

It may even allow retailers to support the homeless by providing discounts or free services, such as suspended coffees, he said.

The council has a homeless policy that could be amended to include support for the Resident Homeless Card, Cr Spooner said.

The idea has the support of service providers in the Bay including Liberation Larder and the homeless group along with various charity groups who deal with the homeless on a daily basis, Cr Spooner said.

Helen Hamilton from Liberation Larder - a free meal service operating out of the Byron Bay Community Centre - said the homeless card would help people living rough in the town.

"Having a homeless card will provide more safety for the permanently homeless. They'll be able to use it if they are at a doctors or it could be used as identification if their belongings are stolen," she said.

"The advantage for us and other service providers is that the registration process will allow us to measure how large the permanent homeless population is in Byron Bay ... (therefore) allowing us to improve services and help apply for grants and the resources we need.

"It will be helpful for the council rangers as well to know who is actually permanently homeless so they can direct that person to the right services instead of just being fined and moved on.'

Ms Hamilton said Liberation Larder had introduced a similar concept requiring people to be registered before they are served meals.

Topics:  byron shire council, homeless




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Barnaby kicks the cash and the ball for Oakes Oval

Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce kicks goals for Lismore sport.

UPDATE: But Joyce won't be playing for the Swans anytime soon

‘Grave fears’ for safety of people after shooting arrest

Wood and brass judges gavel on a law book

Man allegedly threatened to kill his neighbour

POLL: Does Aldi have the Northern Rivers' best bargains?

Our readers reveal the best supermarkets for cheap groceries.

Latest deals and offers

Fair go Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby Joyce on a range of issues

Fair go Barnaby Joyce

Fighter Bomber

A 1940's P-51D Mustang fighter bomber at Lismore Airport.

A 1940's Mustang P-51d fighter bomber at Lismore Airport.

Shark Hunter warns of Attack

Shark hunter Joel merchant hooks a Tiger shark.

Joel Merchant says more sharks on the way as temperature drops.

Lismore real estate agent celebrates 100th birthday

LJ Hooker Lismore principal Paul Deegan is the third generation to operate the 100-year-old family business.

A Lismore real estate is celebrating 100 years in business.

Coastal development keeps young people on Northern Rivers

Wes Bale is a 27-year-old born and bred Lennox Head local who is an example of the demographic shift in the region.

Young Northern Rivers residents are looking closer to home