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Advocates Dispute City's New Homeless Numbers

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The city is touting a decrease in the number of people living on the streets of New York, but advocates are disputing those numbers.

The city's Department of Homeless Services released the findings of its annual survey, which claims that there are about 3,200 people living on the street.

That is down slightly from last year.

Even though the city says there are 28 percent fewer people living on the street since 2005, the Coalition for the Homeless says the way the count is conducted is questionable.

They say homelessness has risen to unprecedented levels on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's watch.

"By their own account, they don't count people sleeping in non-visible locations," said Patrick Markee of the Coalition for the Homeless. "They don't count people in every subway station, on every subway train. They don't count people in every single neighborhood. So it's simply a guesstimate."

"No one publicizes and holds oursef accountable with the results like New York does, and nowhere gets the results," said Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond. "New York City has far better results than any other large city in the country."

The Coalition for the Homeless says 50,000 New Yorkers, including 21,000 children, sleep in emergency shelters.

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