Portland will conduct its annual point-in-time homeless count Tuesday night, as the city tries to get a better handle on how many persons are homeless in Maine’s largest city.

Mayor Ethan Strimling and members of the Portland City Council will meet William Burney, Maine’s field office director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, at the Oxford Street Shelter, where the survey will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The survey’s purpose is to gather information from people experiencing homelessness. The data collected are then used to develop strategies to end homelessness.

Teams of volunteers will go out into the community Tuesday night to try to find homeless persons who are not sheltered. They may ask the individual questions and offer a place to stay if the person does not have shelter.

HUD requires federally funded homeless service providers across the nation to conduct a point-in-time count of their homeless population every January.

In 2016, Portland’s count identified 759 homeless individuals living in the city. Of that total, 706 were sheltered and 53 had no shelter.

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