Whether you see them or not, they are there.
As the country marks Homelessness Week (August 1-7), it's said that every night there are more than 116,000 people who are homeless and don't have somewhere safe or secure to sleep - including 37,715 in NSW.
Mission Australia is among the services at the forefront of this issue, with Far South Coast team members saying they are seeing a lot more people struggling to find suitable accommodation than ever before.
Donna Davis, program manager for Bega and Cooma Homelessness Support Services with Mission Australia, said there were many reasons people face homelessness - for some it's family breakdown, domestic and family violence, job loss or financial pressures, while others have fallen through the cracks of our mental health system.
She said there was also a growing number of people being supported by Mission who are in full time work but simply unable to find available housing.
"COVID is definitely not helping. We're being affected by people moving to the area, getting away from the cities, which is resulting in significant increases in rental prices due to the demand," Ms Davis said.
"That's particularly affecting those on low incomes and income support, but there are also people who are employed, even working full time, but who can't find accommodation now.
"We're seeing a lot more people than ever before," she added.
"You don't always see it on the street like you might in the cities, but we are seeing an increase in people camping and couch-surfing."
Mission Australia said it wanted the upcoming Census on August 10 to determine the severity of the issue.
"Contrary to common belief, homelessness goes beyond those who we see sleeping on the streets or in their cars - in fact these people who were rough sleeping only made up seven per cent of the 116,000 people who were homeless on Census night five years ago," CEO James Toomey said.
"To gauge the severity of the problem in 2021 and better understand how COVID-19 and the housing crisis has affected homelessness numbers in Australia, we call on everyone who is living in insecure, unsafe and temporary places to participate in the Census and have their voices counted.
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"For the Census data to truly reflect the extent of homelessness, it is important that everyone who is homeless - including those who may not previously have realised they're homeless - report their living situation accurately."
Mr Toomey said people should follow the Australian Bureau of Statistics' advice to accurately report on their living situation on Census night.
"In response to the 'Where does the person usually live?' question, anyone who is without a safe, secure home on Census night should record their suburb as 'NONE'.
"This applies to people who are sleeping rough, as well as people who are couch surfing or if they are away from home due to eviction or a family dispute.
"If a housing or homelessness service has provided a person or family with temporary accommodation, they are encouraged to write 'NONE - CRISIS' under 'Suburb/Locality'.
"By accurately reporting the scale of the homelessness problem in Australia, we can gain a greater understanding of what actions are sorely needed to end homelessness in our nation altogether."
Ms Davis also encouraged people to consider signing up to the Everybody's Home campaign, which is calling on government and decision makers for solutions to end homelessness.
Sleep On It in Bega
A homelessness awareness event that was due to be hosted at the Bega Showground during National Homelessness Week has had to be re-scheduled to October 22.
The Sleep On It event is encouraging people to sign up and rough it for a night, to give participants a glimpse into the lives of 116,000 homeless people in Australia.
The night at the Bega Showground will feature a line up of talented young local artists and bands, a range of food vans, and the sleep on it challenge will begin from 8pm.
The event is organised and supported by organisations and charities within the Bega Valley including: SEWACS Youth Homelessness Service, Mission Australia, ABS Census staff, headspace Bega, Sapphire Community Pantry, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, and the Social Justice Advocates.
Registered participants are also raising money for the Social Justice Advocates via donations and sponsors.