Maidstone Street Outreach April 28th: Well, You Don't See That Every Day! By Phil S
Another busy night in Maidstone town centre ended with 18 people receiving hot drinks, Pot Noodles, a snack bag and whatever items of clothing and toiletries that we were able to carry. Worryingly, there was an obvious increase in the number of young people on the street tonight.
It wasn't all doom and gloom though. Animal regulars like the handsome Patch greet us with enthusiasm now that they have realised that there are often doggy treats and a scratch around the ears available. Keeping their noses out of the snacks is the biggest problem we ever have with them.
But tonight there was a most unusual addition in the shape of the extremely lively Monster Munch, a pet polecat. It was even harder to keep him out of the snacks! As his owner explained, when life on the streets get her down and she feels like giving up, Monster Munch gives her a reason to keep going.
Dogs are still the usual companions though, offering friendship, warmth and some degree of protection to people who battle daily against the cold, contempt and sometimes even aggression. The cost is that very few organisations that offer shelter to the homeless will accept animals too.
Finally, a shoutout to the kind man who stopped us, insisting on giving us some money to help our efforts. His donation was almost immediately useful, enabling us to buy some tissues and drinking water that somehow we had forgotten to bring.