(NECN) - As the bitter cold settles in, we're getting a better idea on how many people are homeless across Boston.
Hundreds of volunteers braved the weather to volunteer with the 34th annual "City of Boston Homeless Census" Monday night.
The census helps put a number to the un-met need for housing, emergency shelter beds, treatment resources and other services.
This year, Boston is introducing a mobile app to help make the count more efficient, replacing paper forms and data entry by hand.
The city is also stepping up efforts to identify and assist one specific homeless group.
Mayor Tom Menino said, “This year we are stepping up our efforts to identify, assess and assist homeless veterans living on the streets and in our shelters. Some 25 veteran specialists are on our teams, ready to offer services and assistance.”
The 2012 homeless census found nearly 7,000 homeless individuals living in the city.