Boston to undertake 33rd annual homeless census on Wednesday night

More than 300 volunteers, including city officials, will take to the streets Wednesday night to conduct a count of Boston’s homeless population for the city’s 33rd annual homeless census.

Last year, the census found a total of 6,647 homeless women, men, and children in Boston, a 2.4 percent decrease from 2010.

The total number included those living in shelters and the 181 people living on the streets, the lowest number of homeless recorded living on the streets since 1997, the report said.


The volunteers will spread out across all of Boston’s neighborhoods. The count will help the city figure out what’s needed for various services, including emergency shelter beds and treatment resources, Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s office said.

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Additionally, Boston is one of nine cities to pilot a count of homeless youth this year. The special census will tally the number of unaccompanied homeless youth up to the age of 24, the mayor’s office said.

The youth count will take place over a period of several days after the general homeless count. In 2011, the number of homeless children was 1,928, a decrease of 4.2 percent from 2010, the report said.

The volunteers will be organized into teams of four to 10 people with a team leader and will be assigned one of 45 locations around the city.

Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at