MIDTOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — City workers and volunteers will fan out across New York City’s five boroughs on Tuesday night and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning for the annual count of homeless individuals living on the streets and subways.

The annual HOPE count, as it is called, comes at a precarious time. Shelters and city services are being overwhelmed by a flood of migrants being bused up from the southern border. Mayor Eric Adams said the shelter system has been stressed.

“The number has reached over 70,000, unprecedented, never before in the history of our counting,” said Mayor Eric Adams.

The city concedes homeless services are being strained by the flood of more than 41,000 migrants who’ve come to New York from the southern border during the last year. But the Adams administration said the surge of migrants is not forcing more people into street homelessness. He said the city is abiding by all right to shelter laws.

The HOPE count may be a test of that claim.

Two years ago, the city estimated there were more than 2,300 people living on the streets. It was a lower number than expected, likely because homeless individuals were offered hotel rooms during the pandemic.

The HOPE Count number spiked back up closer to pre-pandemic levels of more than 3,400 last year. Moreover, 2023’s results will likely be more thorough due to the city using volunteers to do outreach overnight for the first time since the pandemic began.

The HOPE Count is not without controversy. The Coalition for the Homeless says this annual survey historically undercounts people and is of little value.

The city argues it’s an important snapshot, and fulfills a federal requirement. The results are usually released over the summer.