Byron Shire is the first area in NSW, outside Sydney, to pilot an internationally-renowned project aimed at drastically reducing and hopefully ending rough sleeping. It is called the Ending Rough Sleeping Byron Shire project.
It is a community-initiated collaboration that is supported by the state-wide organisation, the End Street Sleeping Collaboration.
This initiative is also part of the NSW Premier’s Priority Commitment to reduce rough sleeping by 50% by 2025 and end rough sleeping by 2030 – a target now shared by the Byron Shire.
Connections Week 2020
From 16 – 20 November 2020, 73 people sleeping rough participated in a survey across the Byron Shire. The information gathered in the survey assists us to understand the needs of people sleeping rough and coordinate support services.
Connections Week was conducted by our Community Development team in partnership with End Street Sleeping Collaboration and group of local community service providers and volunteers.
We want to make positive changes and prevent people ever having to sleep rough.
Who was surveyed?
- 77% identified as male.
- 18% identified as female.
- 23% identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
- 44 was the average age.
Some key findings
- 25% have been sleeping rough for 1 year or less.
- 21% have been sleeping for rough for 10 years or more.
- 57% of people had a high level of vulnerability.
- 21 is the median age when an individual became homeless.
- 77% have a physical health condition.
- 38% have dental problems.
- 21% have foot or skin infections.
- 18% reported dehydration.
Self-reported causes of homelessness
- 32% couldn’t find an affordable house.
- 27% relationship breakdown.
- 18% family conflict.
- 18% loss of job or couldn’t find a job.
- 15% domestic and family violence.
When asked what people needed to be safe and well, housing was a key theme.
Download the Connections Week Byron Shire infographic(PDF, 352KB)
A full report on the results is available on End Street Sleeping Collaboration’s website.
The data gathered during Connections Week was used to populate the By-Name List. It stores privacy-protected information about each person who was sleeping rough at the time of the survey. It is updated in real-time by service providers to more effectively coordinate care.
As well as helping individuals access the right housing, health care and other supports, the information collected will help the sector develop better policies and programs.
De-identified data will be used to advocate for change and resources to end homelessness in our community.