This is something that most of us are not aware of. Each year there is a Point-In-Time count of the number of homeless persons in New Bedford.It's done over a period of 24 hours, and it's conducted by volunteers in two-hour shifts.  The results are used by the government to determine the amount of aid for shelters and other programs that serve the homeless in the community.

This year's PIN count is scheduled between 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, until 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25. You are invited to sign up as a single volunteer or you can develop a team of three or four members.

If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering for the PIN count, you must pre-register. There is a training session scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. To sign up, please use this link:  surveymonkey.com

If you can't participate in the count, you could help by making a donation of socks, gloves, hats, hand or foot warmers, bottled water, canned food items or gift cards that will be placed in backpacks and given to the homeless persons who are surveyed.  They can be dropped off at PAACA, 360 Coggeshall Street, New Bedford.