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our Story

Ten years ago, a team of church leaders in Maidstone recognised a need in our town.  They and countless others were meeting many people in need of help and in need of a home.  That need still exists today.

 

The original planning team were especially concerned about the levels of street homelessness in Maidstone, particularly during the coldest winter months, so they set up a group to discuss how this need could be addressed.  The initial plan and obvious response was to find an empty building in the town centre and set it up as a shelter for the winter.  However, it was eventually decided that a church-based winter shelter would be the way forward, run mainly with volunteers - and so Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter (MCWS) began!

MCWS first opened its doors in December 2013 offering food, friendship, shelter and support over the coldest 3 months of each winter.  The plan was not only to meet the immediate needs of those who were homeless by offering a bed and a meal, but also to offer true hospitality and care to those in crises.

Since MCWS first began, the support we offer has adapted and expanded to meet the ever-changing needs of people in our ever-changing world.  For example, Maidstone Borough Council have a dedicated homeless support team who are doing a great job of finding accommodation for people who become homeless in our town.  However, there are still people they are unable to help, especially at short notice, or those with no recourse to public funds.

 

Our offer of overnight support is there to catch these people who fall through the gaps, even temporarily, over the winter months.  In addition to providing overnight accommodation and meals for those people, we now also offer meals, advice and support for people who are potentially the future homeless: those who are struggling to pay the rent and bills plus put food on the table due to limited financial resources.  

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our aims

1

Providing Hospitality and overnight shelter for homeless people in the winter months

2

Engaging members of churches in Maidstone and other volunteers in building supportive relationships with homeless people in Maidstone, without discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

3

Supporting homeless people to find appropriate long-term accommodation

4

Undertaking such other purposes in relation to the needs of homeless people as the Trustees may from time to time determine.

Our Annual Report gives details of how these aims were fulfilled last winter.  

Our Aims
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