New Bedford Homeless Population Totals 398
The number of homeless people in New Bedford has increased slightly, according to data collected in January by the city's Homeless Service Providers Network.
Reverend David Lima says the count in 2017 was about 350 people living in shelters and on the street, but this year the numbers went up a little, to 398. "The biggest reason for the increase was that in prior years, HUD's definition didn't include extra transitional shelter beds, like our overflow shelter, so those beds were counted this year," said Lima.
Rev. Lima chairs the Homeless Service Providers Network in New Bedford. He says the annual count does not necessarily record every homeless person in the city, "Depending on people's travel habits and the weather that particular day," said Lima, "do we actually capture every person that's in the city? We do a better job these days, and that's why the numbers are fairly consistent, but it's hard to make sure you are counting everybody within the city limits."
More than 50 volunteers took part in the count this year, counting individuals living in shelters and those living on the streets. The Department of Housing and Urban Development uses the count and the results of a survey of the homeless to help determine how much funding will be sent to local communities to aid the homeless. .