A new study has found more than 60 people are sleeping rough on any given night in the Wollongong CBD and surrounding areas.
A recently conducted homeless street count was a collaboration between the IRT Foundation, Wollongong Homeless Hub and Wollongong City Council.
As part of Wollongong's first homeless street count, more than 50 volunteers from IRT and the Homeless Hub walked the streets of the CBD between 12am and 3am on February 19 this year to compile the data.
The study aimed to collect accurate data in the local area to improve homelessness solutions.
IRT Foundation manager Toby Dawson said people sleeping rough are often overlooked in the Census, which is a huge gap in data that could be assisting Illawarra homeless support services to develop better responses to homelessness according to need.
"Over 30 per cent of the rough sleepers we counted were in cars. Others were in tents, laying beneath awnings or alongside buildings, on benches or were awake sitting or walking around."
More than 600 people occupying beds in temporary shelters and homelessness hostels were also counted.
More than 50 per cent of these were staying in transitional accommodation, 15 per cent were in refuge housing and almost 10 per cent were in crisis accommodation.
The remainder were staying in other types of temporary housing.
People living in boarding houses, staying with friends or living in other forms of non-secure housing were not counted.
"Counting the numbers of people experiencing primary homelessness is only one method of collecting data, but it's an important one," Mr Dawson said.
"The data will be used to help homeless support services in the Illawarra better assist people in need.
"The results will also be used to advocate to state and federal governments for the resources necessary to achieve long-term solutions to homelessness."
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said council recognised there are people living rough in the city, and wanted to ensure the decisions they were making as an organisation will also help to support them.
"This data will provide evidence to support council and other agencies to address the issues around homelessness," Cr Bradbery said.
"It's not just about shelter, it's about unemployment, mental health and affordable housing. This allows us to plan for the diverse needs of socially disadvantaged people in the community.
"We'll also use the data to work with state government agencies and with emergency, short and long-term accommodation service providers who support and assist homeless people."