02/20/2013 11:02 am ET

Bloomberg, Homeless Advocates Spar After Mayor Denies Anyone Is 'Sleeping On The Streets'

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that "no one is sleeping on the streets" in New York City, NY1 reports.

The comment-- in response to a New York Daily News article that said city shelters were turning away families during frigid winter temperatures-- was quickly condemned by homeless advocates who have long decried Bloomberg's handling of the city's homeless.

It also came as a shock to everyday New Yorkers who, looking out their window or on their way to work, can see homeless people sleeping on the streets.

"It's a remark that just seems so out of touch with the everyday reality that New Yorkers see," said Patrick Markee of the Coalition for the Homeless.

In fact, the remark directly contradicts the city's own data estimating more than 3,200 people sleeping on the streets in 2012.

It also comes just days after an appeals court sided with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, striking down the mayor's policy of requiring homeless individuals to prove their homelessness in order to acquire temporary housing.

Critics said the mayor skirted proper procedure in making a policy change that left the homeless with nothing but a "death sentence."

Those that have come to Bloomberg's defense believe such requirements are a necessary move in order to relieve overcrowding in shelters. In 2011, the homeless population rose to over 41,000 individuals, marking the first time the city exceeded the 40,000 mark.

Bloomberg previously got into hot water for another comment regarding the city's homeless. In August, the mayor said New York City shelters offered a "much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before."