HYANNIS — An annual “point in time” count of homeless people on the Cape and Islands showed a jump over last year, which had been the lowest in the previous five years.

There were 358 people in shelters, motels and other accommodations for homeless people the night of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual point in time count Jan. 30, representing an increase of about 10 percent over last year’s count of 324 homeless individuals.

The biggest increase was in the number of people in shelters, including St. Joseph’s House in Hyannis and in motel rooms paid for by charitable organizations.

The number of people in shelters went from 64 men and women last year to 95 this year.

“It was really frigid on the night of the count,” said Beth Albert, director of the Barnstable County Department of Human Services. “People literally came in from the cold.”

Virtually all of the increase came from people counted in motels, Albert said.

She said that 31 of the homeless people counted in shelter were in motels this year compared to zero the night of the count that took place Jan. 24, 2017.

“The outreach organizations did a fantastic job working with police to make sure that homeless people were not outside during the extended cold snap in December and January,” Albert said. “I believe that this effort saved lives.”

The number of unsheltered families — which includes those on the streets and at risk of being evicted within two weeks and with no place to go — rose slightly, by one family, which accounted for two individuals.

The number of unsheltered adults dropped by seven for Barnstable County but increased by the same number for Dukes County, according to the numbers released by the Cape and Islands Regional Network on Homelessness last week.

In both 2017 and 2018, the number of unsheltered individuals counted during the annual survey was 39.

Michael McIntyre, 63, may not have been homeless the night of the count but he is now.

He had to move out of his Section 8 subsidized apartment in West Yarmouth and into the St. Joseph’s House two weeks ago when his landlord decided to renovate the building and make it suitable for vacation rentals, McIntyre said.

“That’s why I’m here,” said McIntyre, adding that he is confident the shelter run by Catholic Social Services will locate more permanent housing for him soon. “They’re looking for places for me in Falmouth and Yarmouth and here.”

It’s good news that the number of people in shelter and transitional housing, and families in shelter have remained the same since last year, Albert said.

But the count is a snapshot and not a complete picture of homelessness, said Laura Reckford, spokeswoman for the Hyannis-based Housing Assistance Corp., one of the organizations that participates in the annual event.

“It doesn’t get everyone,” Reckford said. “There are unaccompanied youth that are not counted.”

Like last year, the number of unsheltered, unaccompanied youth age 17 and under counted in the annual point-in-time survey was zero.

It’s hard to get a handle on the number of people who are doubled or tripled up in an acquaintance’s home or living in cars, Reckford said. 

“The count isn’t getting all the homeless in the state,” she said about the survey, which is done across Massachusetts and the country.

Several agencies on the Cape participate in the annual point in time count of people for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The annual snapshot of homeless people living on the Cape and Islands conducted in 2017 showed the population of people living on the streets and in shelters was at its lowest level in five years.

But the number of homeless families in shelters was at the higher end of recent surveys.

In both 2017 and 2018, the number of families in shelters on the night of the count was 69. In 2012, the number was 55.

There could be even more families in need, but there aren’t rooms for them, said Reckford, whose organization runs four family shelters, among other housing programs.

“Those (family) shelters are always full,” Reckford said.

Looking at numbers over the course of months, “there have been more families in our shelters this year and more children,” she said.

— Follow Cynthia McCormick on Twitter: @Cmccormickcct