LEWISTON — Teams of people will spread out across the state Tuesday, Jan. 28, to count Mainers who are homeless. It’s part of Maine’s point-in-time survey, a federal requirement the state must fulfill in order to receive money that pays for shelters, housing assistance and other programs.

But organizers never have enough volunteers to help with the overnight count. This year is no different.

With a little more than a week to go, organizers are still looking for help.

“I’d like to have a volunteer in every town in Maine, but right now that’s not feasible,” said Jerry Dewitt, volunteer coordinator. “We’re lucky if we get a volunteer in each county.”

The count gives officials basic information about the state’s homeless population, including how many people are homeless, where they are located, how old they are and whether they are veterans. That information helps determine how much funding the state can receive from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Volunteers go in pairs and spend from sundown to sunrise counting Mainers who are living in homeless shelters, sleeping in their cars or otherwise have nowhere to stay. In recent years, the count has noted an increase in women and children who are homeless.

Organizers need volunteers to do the count that night. They also need people to distribute brochures and posters about the count in their communities.

For more information or to volunteer, call Dewitt at 576-0376 or email him at [email protected]

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