BANGOR, Maine — A homeless man named John sat on a bench in Pickering Square rocking back and forth on Monday night. He said he couldn’t go to either of the city’s shelters because he’d been “kicked out,” and he didn’t want to go to the Police Department for help out of fear that he would be arrested.

“I ain’t doing alright,” he said, as he asked for money for coffee.

John’s plan for the storm that hit Tuesday was to walk around in an effort to pass the time and to keep warm.

“I just walk,” he said as he kicked his feet, not able to keep eye contact.

Representatives from several local agencies who deal with the homeless population, organized by Community Health and Counselling Services, spent Wednesday night looking for people like John who are living outside in camps, tents, cars, under bridges or in other makeshift outdoor environments. Those numbers are combined with the number of people staying in shelters for the annual tally.

Three teams went looking for people in “The Pines,” a wooded area between Interstate 95 and Corporate Drive, under the Interstate 395 bridge, Second Street Park, the fairgrounds, the library, behind the Airport Mall and the big box stores by the Bangor Mall, and other places known to local shelter officials as places where people sleep outside.

Bruce Hews, supervisor of the Hope House homeless shelter in Bangor, found one homeless person walking the streets Wednesday night who he said has been living on the streets for about a year. The man wasn’t John.

“There is a lot of people who do that,” Hews said of walking the streets. “[They] just walk and find an entryway that they can get into to stay warm, until somebody finds them and kicks them out.”

One group Wednesday found an abandoned building with broken windows and doorless entrances near I-395 that showed evidence of use, with footsteps in the snow leading to it.

“Here’s a bed, here’s a bed, here’s a bed,” James Vaughn of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter said pointing to four areas of the floor.

One was a pile of clothes in the corner with a blanket on top. Another was a raised cement platform covered with a dark blue cloth that had a couple pair of shoes stacked on one side. Only two of the four sleeping areas were covered with ice, indicating someone had used the other two in the structure since Tuesday’s ice storm.

Another group found what appeared to be a beaver cave in The Pines built with sticks and tree branches.

“I crawled in there, and it was as dry as could be,” Hews said Thursday of the man-made shelter. “You couldn’t stand up, but you literally could fit two or three people in there.”

Inside the cave was a blanket and an empty Gatorade bottle. Hews’ group also found another empty but basically dry campsite that he said indicates it’s a site that is used by the homeless during the day.

The one-night homeless tally conducted Wednesday night was part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual Point-In-Time survey, done every January to provide a snapshot of what the homeless population looks like — how many individuals have mental illness, abuse alcohol or drugs, are veterans, victims of domestic violence, children or are chronically homeless.

The counts are done all over Maine and reported to MaineHousing, which processes the numbers for HUD.

Nearly 61 percent of the homeless adults in Maine during the 2016 count “identified with a mental illness,” and around 30 percent admitted to using street drugs or abusing alcohol, MaineHousing data shows.

In 2016, search teams found 1,192 homeless people in Maine, 945 being adults, which is a 5 percent increase over 2015. The teams focus on Bangor and Portland. A total of 575 of the adults listed mental illness, and 286 identified substance abuse as factors in their lives, the data show.

The number of homeless in Maine has steadily grown since 2009, when 871 were counted.

Members of Community Health and Counselling Services’ homeless outreach program, Projects for Assistance with Transition from Homelessness, or PATH, the city’s three homeless shelters — Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, Hope House, a shelter for those with drug and alcohol addictions, and the Shaw House for youth — along with folks from Preble Street, the Bangor VA Clinic and Salvation Army searched for people living on the street Wednesday night.

They carried food, water, blankets, hats and gloves for anyone they might come across.

Their job also was to encourage people to go to shelters and connect with providers to obtain housing and other resources, Mary Ellen Quinn, supervisor for PATH, said Tuesday.

“We … estimate that there are approximately a dozen individuals currently unsheltered in the Bangor area,” she said in a letter to the search teams. “Some stay outdoors because shelters are full; some can’t handle the shelter environment due to their high level of anxiety.”

Homeless youth, now defined as those age 24 or under, were a primary focus of this year’s survey, she said.

“They are often difficult to identify as they tend to stay with others temporarily or ‘couch surf’ and keep moving from place to place,” Quinn said.

Last year, Bangor recorded one homeless youth in the count and Shaw House operators knew of 35 or 36, Dan Fleming, an outreach worker for the agency that works with homeless and at-risk youth, said during a November demonstration to raise awareness of teen homelessness.

One person was found living outside during the 2014 Point-In-Time survey in Bangor, none were found in 2015, but three were found in 2016, Hews said. The Bangor count also will include everyone who slept in the two adult and one youth homeless shelters on Wednesday, or who reported being homeless this week. HUD is expected to release the statewide and national tallies this spring.

“It’s really important,” Quinn said, because HUD uses the numbers to allocate funding. “It helps Maine because we’re so rural. We let people know there are homeless folks in Maine where they aren’t as visible as they are in the city. There is a lot of poverty in Maine. We all depend on [the federal funds] to do the work.”

Raising public awareness about the plight of people who are homeless in Maine also is important to resolving the problem, she said. The information collected helps pinpoint the needs of people who are homeless and so programs to address those needs can be created.