Steve Eyler is executive director of Homeless services of Aroostook. Recently the Department of Housing and Urban Development released its numbers on homeless in the state for 2017. The report states there is an increase.
“It’s interesting because they are reporting in Maine, 2280 people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, what they are referencing is what’s called the point in time count, which is January 24th of every year all of the shelters around the country, this is country wide, do a point in time count and then report that to Hud.”
Eyler says it’s impossible to put a number on homelessness.
“There’s so many factors that are involved in this, not only literally homeless but at risk of being homeless and then you take into consideration the definition of what is homelessness. For Hud couch surfing is not considered being homeless, when in reality it really is someone experiencing homeless and has utilized a resource to them.”
Eyler says couch surfing is common in the county. He says the numbers for 2017 we’re on average.
“We’ve sheltered 107 people total with 34 of them being children which is right on the average that we’ve been doing every year when you look at the last seven years.”