Siloam Mission, Union Gospel Mission, and Lighthouse Mission will be bringing joy to an often-forgotten population at their annual Christmas dinners.
Siloam Mission says they will be hosting dine-in style meals on Christmas Eve for up to 100 people in its shelter capacity, and serve to-go style meals for many more. Gilbert Fredette, spearheader of Chiefs at Christmas, will be doling out food instead of leading a group of presentations this Christmas at Siloam.
While there will not be waiting lists to volunteer or Christmas place settings, Luke Thiessen, the Marketing Co-Ordinator with Siloam Mission says they will have their Christmas feast.
"What we are looking to do tomorrow is make things as special as possible within the restrictions," Thiessen says.
Typically they would seat 600-700 people for a meal.
There will be no performances but both seated and take out guests can expect a full Christmas meal.
Having already gone through a full season of holiday dinners during the pandemic, starting at Easter, Thiessen says they are hoping to bring joy to those who are in need this Christmas.
"In many cases, the things that many people are facing at a time like this are just even more present and potentially even more difficult for those experiencing homelessness," Thiessen says.
The second soup kitchen to host a dinner is Lighthouse Mission on December 28. Their to-go style meal will include gifts donated by a local community group.
Union Gospel Mission is hosting their celebration in the New Year. Serving in person, the ministry will be seating people at a distance, serving everyone who is in need.
"We are all about Jesus and Christmas is, of course, also very much about him so we want to share the true meaning of Christmas with those who come in," Martin Chidwick, UGM's Development Manager says.
Starting at 10:30 a.m. on January 2, their doors will open to host guests. Their dining hall will only able to host one-fifth of its usual capacity. Chidwick is anticipating having five sittings of people throughout the day.
On Christmas Day itself, the space will continue to be open at all hours, handing out water, sandwiches, and other snacks.
Thiessen says that people can pray for the physical and mental wellbeing of those currently facing homelessness.
"Those feelings of isolation, not being able to see loved ones, not being able to have the few comforts that you might expect around the holidays, they do not have some of those things," Thiessen says.