Our 2022 winter shelter opened on Monday 03 January and closed on 31 March 2022.  


During this time, we provided:


Afternoon registration/support

At these sessions we offered hot drinks, sandwiches and snacks, the opportunity to just chat plus signposting to other services as needed.  

Maidstone Borough Council  continued to accommodate the majority of rough sleepers during the winter, which meant we had less overnight guests than in previous, pre-Covid years.  However, where necessary, we used our afternoon sessions to register people who needed a bed for the night if the council were unable to accommodate them for any reason, or unable to accommodate them at short notice. 

Evening meals

We offered hot meals, company and support for people who were street homeless and for those in temporary accommodation or genuinely IN NEED of a meal.   At these sessions our guests were invited to sit at the table and eat together with our volunteers and staff, in a similar manner to a family meal.  Table service was provided by the volunteers.


We also offered takeaways to guests who were unable or uncomfortable to come indoors and share a meal with our other guests and volunteers, plus we home-delivered a few hot meals to people in temporary accommodation, where needed.

Overnight accommodation

 We had originally planned to rent a house for 3 months of the winter, in which to accommodate homeless guests needing a bed for the night.  Our plan was to have a rented, supervised property where our guests could be safe and warm overnight.


Unfortunately the rented property we had planned to use didn't become available until we were well into the winter, so we accommodated our small amount of overnight guests in a local hotel.  These guests were people that Maidstone Borough Council were unable to support, or unable to accommodate at short notice.


 Throughout the 12.5 weeks we were open, we:

  • had 7 overnight guests, preventing 169 street sleeps in our town. 

  • provided a total of 1603 hot meals (1193 eaten at our venues, 371 takeaways & 39 meals delivered to guests in temporary accommodation).  This number doesn't include meals for staff or volunteers who ate with our guests.

  • supplied 29 food parcels

  • saw 130 different people for meals and support, including those we signposted to other agencies for support most appropriate to their individual needs.



 On Christmas Day we worked together with The Salvation Army to provide a sit-down Christmas dinner for people who were homeless or in temporary accommodation.  This offer also extended to those who would otherwise have been alone on Christmas Day.  The meal was really appreciated and our guests enjoyed the company over the lunchtime period, rather than spending Christmas Day alone.  


Homeless charities warn that, across the UK, the number of rough sleepers could increase significantly as a result of the Covid pandemic and the global economic crisis.


 Council Housing support helps the homeless survive the winter, but the experience can be isolating. 

Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter work with Maidstone Borough Council and their Outreach Team to ensure support is provided for people in need.  

As you can see from the information above, MCWS provided accommodation plus hot meals and additional support/signposting during winter 2021-22, to help our guests with their own individual needs. 


 Our priorities continue to be the provision of shelter, meals and hospitality/support plus signposting to other services where appropriate (for example, counselling).

If you wish to make a financial donation to support our work, please click on the Donate button below. 

Help out to Eat out: £10 pays for a meal, hot drinks and snacks for one of our guests next winter.  If you wish to help, donations can be made here:

The Winter Shelter makes a big difference to the lives of people who, in circumstances often beyond their control, find themselves homeless.

According to Crisis, the true number of rough sleepers is far greater than those reported and its own research predicts considerable increases in numbers of street homeless by 2026, if nothing changes. This is on top of those people already sleeping in tents, cars, trains and buses.


Whilst homelessness continues in Maidstone, Kent, Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter will be there to provide help and support, working alongside other agencies and organisations, including volunteers and team members.  

Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter is a member of


Homeless Link:

Homeless link logo.png

We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4.19

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