Night Cafe at the CBD: A Haven for Homeless Youth for 20 Years

Night Cafe

In the middle of Brisbane CBD, there is a bright spot of hope for homeless teens and young adults. For twenty years, the Night Cafe in the basement of City Hall has given 12–25-year-olds who are in need a warm meal, a safe place to hang out, and a helping hand.



The Red Cross runs the Night Cafe, which welcomes a diverse group of young people dealing with a variety of difficulties on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. From those sleeping rough to those couch-surfing, the Night Cafe provides a judgment-free zone where they can find solace, support, and essential resources.

Red Cross youth worker Eboni Frankel emphasised the importance of the Night Cafe’s role in providing a safe space for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“We offer a hot meal, clothing, hygiene products, showers, and access to volunteer nurses and doctors,” Ms Frankel explained.

Night Cafe in Brisbane
Photo Credit: NightCafeOnline

The Night Cafe’s success is due in large part to the dedication of its volunteers, who selflessly donate their time to assist those in need.

Tower Ad

“We have a huge team of amazing volunteers who make this possible,” Ms Frankel said.

The Night Cafe’s welcoming atmosphere, filled with the aroma of home-cooked meals, provides a respite from the harsh realities of life on the streets. Young people gather, share stories, and find a sense of community within its walls.

However, the Night Cafe also serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by homeless youth. Many arrive tired, hungry, and bearing the physical and emotional scars of trauma.

Sunny Street volunteer nurse Elise Hicks, who helps operate a clinic at the Night Cafe, highlighted the complex health concerns faced by many of these young people.

“We see issues like self-harming, overdoses, and infections,” Ms Hicks said.

Red Cross runs the Night Cafe
Photo Credit: NightCafeOnline

Despite the challenges, the Night Cafe remains a vital lifeline for those who rely on its services. For 18-year-old Sudanese refugee Suli, the Night Cafe is more than just a place to get a meal; it’s a place where he feels valued and connected to a community.

Ms Frankel summed up the Night Cafe’s mission: “We want to provide a safe space where young people feel loved and cared for. We help to link them in with services they need when they are ready.”

As the Night Cafe marks its 20th anniversary, its legacy of compassion and support continues to shine brightly, offering hope and a brighter future for Brisbane’s homeless youth.



Night Cafe in Brisbane
Photo Credit: NightCafeOnline

Ms Frankel summed up the Night Cafe’s mission: “We want to provide a safe space where young people feel loved and cared for. We help to link them in with services they need when they are ready.”

As the Night Cafe marks its 20th anniversary, its legacy of compassion and support continues to shine brightly, offering hope and a brighter future for Brisbane’s homeless youth.

Published Date 03-June-2024