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Bloomberg Blasts Advocacy Group Report About City's Efforts To Help Homeless

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg is blasting an advocacy group after it released a scathing report that says the city isn't doing enough to help the homeless. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.

The Coalition for the Homeless is hammering the Bloomberg administration for what it said are record numbers of people in the city's homeless shelters.

According to the report, the number of homeless people in shelters has increased 61 percent and the number of families has increased 73 percent since Bloomberg took office.

"Right now, for the first time since modern homelessness began, we have no housing assistance to help homeless kids and families move from shelters into their own homes," said Patrick Markee of the Coalition for the Homeless.

The advocacy group said that more than 50,000 people slept each night in a city shelter for the first time in the city's history in January. They also said that there was a record of more than 21,000 children in those shelters.

The mayor isn't disputing the numbers, but he did fire back at the Coalition.

"The Coalition for the Homeless is not a reputable organization," Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg blamed the growing numbers on the fact that people are staying in shelters longer because the Advantage program was eliminated by the city after it lost state funding. That program gave rental subsidies to homeless families and individuals.

"We have trouble moving people out because this one program, which the Coalition of the Homeless wanted to kill, for reasons beyond me," Bloomberg said. "Only thing I can think of is, they were really trying to hurt some people for their own aggrandizement."

"The idea that the Coalition for the Homeless lobbied to end a housing program for homeless people and replace it with nothing is obviously completely absurd," Markee said.

For William Adorno and his family, it doesn't matter much who is responsible. The father of two was checking in at the city's family intake center in the Bronx.

This is his third time entering the shelter system. He said that coming to the center is something he absolutely hates doing.

"I usually get paid real good money," he said. "Can't find work, so now we're here. Nobody else is helping. No family, no friends."

As all the political wrangling plays out, the steady flow of people coming to the intake center seeking shelter continues.

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