For a mayor prone to making bold promises, Bill de Blasio is taking a different tact on homelessness. 

"I today cannot see an end. I can see improvement and constant progress if we all do things right," de Blasio said on February 28, 2017.

The city's goal is not to cut the homeless population in half or even shrink it by 25 percent. De Blasio says he is simply hoping to reduce the shelter population by 2,500 people over the next five years.

There are more than 60,000 people in city shelters each night. Advocates say the mayor's plan needs to be far more aggressive.

"Twenty-five-hundred people over five years is not real progress in terms of reducing homelessness," said Giselle Routhier of the Coalition for the Homeless.

The mayor says he intends to open 90 new homeless shelters over then next five years, and he has promised to stop using hotel rooms and landlord-operated shelters to house homeless.

But opening new shelters is not such an easy task, as the mayor has learned. Neighborhoods are resisting. And the mayor is pushing back.

"We are trying to create a different kind of shelter system that helps people be closer to their home, to their support network, to their house of worship, to their family, to their school," de Blasio said on March 10.

Meanwhile, advocates are also questioning the city's approach.

"We don't have to be opening 90 new shelters if we actually increase the housing supply and move more families from shelter into affordable housing," Routhier said.

Then, there's street homelessness. The city's own data showed a 40 percent increase in the number of people sleeping on the street this year compared to last. And that was after the mayor expanded outreach efforts to improve the situation.

"The city of New York has to own this problem," de Blasio said on December 17, 2015.

For now, the de Blasio administration points to unseen victories to show they are making headway. While the overall number of people in homeless shelters remains high, officials say rent subsidies and legal assistance are keeping thousands of additional New Yorkers from becoming homeless themselves, exacerbating the problem even further.