A partnership between Homelessness NSW,
Domestic Violence NSW and Yfoundations

Program - Friday Lunches and Feel Good Nights at Phoenix House Youth Services

Excellence in Ending Homelessness - Young People Nominee

Program - Friday Lunches and Feel Good Nights at Phoenix House Youth Services

Please give your reasons for nominating this program.

Phoenix House have been running Friday Lunches and the Feel Good Nights program for over 20 years, focused on OOHC clients. The longevity of the programs demonstrates "good practice" of what clients want and need, the programs have clearly defined objectives and outcomes of incorporating elements of community spirit, engagement, togetherness, healthy living and personal care.

1.       Friday Lunches
Friday Lunches are a well-established tradition at Phoenix House. Every Friday, up to 30 people sit down to a hearty, home-cooked meal. Conversation flows, birthdays are celebrated, and a sense of  belonging and community is nurtured by the informality of sharing good food together. Friday Lunches also have a “drop in” element, and allow for potential clients (often friends of existing clients) and the local community to get a taste – literally – of what Phoenix House has to offer.
We average 10 visiting clients every Friday, in addition to all staff and all Route 10 students, who are on-site on Fridays.  Friday Lunches are catered for on a roster basis, with every member of Phoenix House cooking at some point.

2.       Feel Good Nights
As with Friday Lunches, Feel Good Nights are well-established. Every six weeks, Phoenix House hosts an evening event which kicks off at 6pm with dinner. Following a cooked meal, attendees are welcome to sign up for free haircuts, massages, guided meditations, nail treatments, henna etc. At its heart, a Feel Good Night is about giving our clients a safe, substance-free evening of relaxation, with an undeniably positive impact on their wellbeing. Feel Good Nights also allow for potential new clients to “drop in”.
The events are hugely popular, and we have recently had to cap our numbers at 25 due to the limitations of the service providers and to ensure the safety of our clients and staff. 

Friday Lunches and Feel Good Nights are led by Phoenix staff with the support of volunteers from the community.

What outcomes were delivered as a result of this program?

The objectives of the two program is to create an atmosphere of community spirit, engagement, togetherness, healthy living and personal care. All elements that focus on the wellbeing of OOHC clients.

Over the last 20+ years this program has been running, Phoenix House has delivered:

960+ Friday Lunches with 19,200 meals provided

110+ Feel Good Night Events with 2750+ attendees.

The outcomes derived from the programs as identified by the young people are:
- Was were able to make new friends
- Helped deal with stress
- It felt good at the end of the evening
- It was a good social night out
- Felt it was a good opportunity to mix with staff
- Enjoyed a good mean and a Fun evening
- Got some personal grooming, which made me feel good.

Evaluations are carried out at each feel good night events and is used to improve the events. Qualitative feedback and photographs can be provided, when required.

Reference statement:

Greg Nikoletos

My name is Greg Nikoletos and I'm the Youth Services and Partnerships Coordinator at North Sydney Council. I'm writing in support of the Friday Lunches and the Feel Good Nights program run by Phoenix House Youth Services,

These two programs have played an integral part in the lives of young people in the Lower North Shore area over the last 18 years. We have had many young people tell us how much they enjoy attending the programs at Phoenix House.

Many of the young people that attend these programs are doing it tough and getting a healthy meal is highly beneficial for them. Attending the Feel Good Nights is also important for them as it is one of the few times in their lives where they are getting something special done for them.

Hearing the young people speak positively of the programs is testament of how important they are to their lives.

Youth services on the Lower North Shore would be lacking if these two programs ceased to exist. I highly recommend them for young people.