(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Springs Rescue Mission (SRM) will be hosting its third annual Christmas banquet on Friday, Dec. 23.

SRM is doing the banquet a day early to allow staff and volunteers time to spend with their loved ones on Christmas Eve.

According to SRM, this will be its first year as “the city’s only low-barrier homeless shelter for men and women.” The event is designed to give a “dignified experience to Colorado Springs’ neighbors in need” or those who are experiencing poverty, homelessness, and/or addiction.

A low-barrier homeless shelter focuses on harm reduction meaning it has limited or low requirements for entry. Harm reduction is when shelters invite “homeless individuals to seek resources by eliminating those obstacles,” according to SRM.

The missions may be low-barrier but still has standards by which guests must behave, “shelter policy does prohibit the possession and use of drugs, alcohol and weapons in its facilities. There is also an expectation that guests obey the law and behave in a manner that is respectful, non-threatening and not overly disruptive.”

 Springs Rescue Mission
Courtesy: Springs Rescue Mission

The Christmas banquet will be held in SRM’s new 10,000-square-foot Samaritan’s Kitchen and Dining Hall. Prior to the new facilities, SRM hosted the event at the City Auditorium in downtown Colorado Springs.

Travis Williams, Chief Development Officer at SRM, said, “Everyone deserves hope, joy and love on Christmas. We want to make sure that no one goes hungry this holiday season, and that our homeless neighbors have a dignified Christmas experience – a reason to celebrate.”

Samaritan’s Kitchen and Dining Hall opened in September of 2020 and has a seating capacity of 185. The culinary staff plan to serve 400-600 meals during the banquet. According to SRM, “During SRM’s Thanksgiving banquets, more than 600 hungry neighbors received a meal.”

Williams said, “We also want to recognize and appreciate the many donors, volunteers and staff members who make our work possible. So many of them have taken time out of this busy holiday season to help those in need — and that’s worth celebrating.”

The Samaritan’s Kitchen and Dining Hall is located at 5 West Las Vegas Street in Colorado Springs. The Christmas banquet will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23.