A man sleeps at the Boston Comon in Boston.PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Roughly 350 volunteers are expected to join Boston Mayor Thomas Menino for the 34th annual Boston homeless census Monday night to count the city's homeless population throughout all neighborhoods of the city.
Last year's census showed that Boston's homeless rate was up by 5.2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year.
The city uses the homeless census to understand housing, emergency shelter and treatment services needs. For the first time, census takers will be using a smartphone app developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to accumulate real-time data.
The app has previously been tested in Brockton and Quincy. The state has seen a surge in recent months of homeless families seeking shelter, leading to a rise in those placed in temporary hotel and motel rooms. The 2012 Boston homeless census found 6,992 homeless individuals living in Boston, an increase of 5.2 percent over 2011.
Early Monday evening, volunteers will gather in the third floor lobby of City Hall with Menino, Boston Public Health Commission Director Barbara Ferrer, Boston Emergency Shelter Commission Director Jim Green, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott, and other state and local