DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Point-in-Time count of 2018 needs volunteers. On one night every January all across the United States, members team with local agencies to complete a Point-in-Time count of homeless individuals. The information provides a better understanding of the factors contributing to homelessness in our communities and the number of people being affected. The information collected helps the state as well as local agencies in the work to end homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has determined that the 2018 Point-in-Time count will be used as a benchmark to determine how many homeless and unstably housed youths there are in the United States. Since homeless and unstably housed youths have historically been undercounted, this is a critical year to improve our count in Maine.

To do this we need volunteers from every town in the state. Volunteers will be connected with people who are experienced in this process to help with the count. This year’s count will be on Tuesday night, Jan. 23, 2018. For more information or to volunteer to help, please contact Jerry DeWitt at [email protected] or at 783-4663, ext. 228.

— Nicole, no town

ANSWER: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that Continuums of Care conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are in emergency shelters, transitional housing and safe havens on a single night. Continuums of Care also must conduct a count of unsheltered homeless persons on odd-numbered years. Each count is planned, coordinated and carried out locally. The Housing Inventory Count is a point-in-time inventory of provider programs within a Continuum of Care that provide beds and units dedicated to serve the homeless, categorized by five program types: emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, safe haven and permanent supportive housing. Please help in this effort if you can.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: You are so good at finding things! I am looking for a cookie I had at an office party a few years ago. They were from a store, not homemade, and were a soft vanilla drop cookie with chocolate icing. When I asked my co-workers, they thought they were from Washington, D.C. Can you help me? These cookies are delicious!

— Jason, no town

ANSWER: If there is something sweet to be found in this whole wide world, I’m all over it. That way I get to consider sampling it as well. I believe the cookies are Berger Cookies from Baltimore, Md. First baked by German immigrant Henry Berger in 1835, the cookies are still made by hand and to order. Unfortunately, they aren’t available in Maine but you can order 15-ounce packages for $5.99 or tins of cookies for $23.99 from the bakery’s website at If you ever visit Baltimore, eating Berger Cookies is a definite must!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.