With help from volunteers, the City of Boston does its annual count of the homeless, combining information from shelters and supportive housing with face-to-face contact on the street. Though the homeless population has declined recently, due in part to city and state programs, the director of the Boston Public Health Commission, Dr. Deborah Ferrer, observed, "It's a travesty in this day and age that we would actually have people out on the street who can't find a place to live, or can't come in because they're struggling so much with mental illness or with addictions, that they don't feel safe to come in and get services. We really have to come together, figure out how to do a better job of making sure that people get the services they need before they fall out so much that they're living on the streets." Report for BNN News by Luke Jones. Aired December 13, 2011.