GARDEN CITY - Long Islanders are cranking up the heat to try and beat the cold snap that has settled in on the area, but for those who don't have heat, or even homes, the blast of frigid weather is especially brutal.

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is conducting its annual homeless count, and the group expects numbers to be higher than previous years. Volunteers were out in Hempstead today trying to number the local homeless population to get an idea of how much aid to apply for.

The annual count happened to fall on the coldest day of the year so far, so volunteers handed out blankets, coats and food to help the homeless people they encountered.

News 12 Long Island spoke with DeDora Bayne, a homeless woman who uses a sleeping bag to keep warm on nights like last night, when the temperature didn't climb much higher than 10 degrees.

Bayne has a master's degree and she says she had never imagined she'd be homeless, but that has been her reality for the past three years, after she was laid off.