Advocates marked the official start of winter by honoring homeless people who died this year. 

The group Picture the Homeless held an interfaith ceremony at the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village Wednesday night.

Participants lit candles and recited the names of loved ones that passed away. 

Organizers say the event highlights the difficulties of homelessness and memorializes people who may not have gotten a proper funeral. 

"This event is to call attention to and dramatize the fact that all lives, undomiciled or domiciled alike, are valuable in the United States of America," said Jean Rice of Picture the Homeless. "And every year, our nation loses too many citizens just due to the fact that they perish in inclement weather because they have no stabilized housing,"

This is the 17th year the group has put on the event. 

The number of people staying in city homeless shelters has reached record levels in 2016.