Tracy McColgam says you never know who might actually be experiencing homelessness.
The Port Macquarie drug and alcohol worker believes the problem is a lot bigger than people might think.
"Be mindful that the person walking next to you may have nowhere to sleep tonight,' Ms McColgam said.
"Recently I had a lady who was sleeping in the public toilets at Lake Cathie because she didn't have anywhere to live, you would never have guessed that was her situation."
Ms McColgam runs a drugs and alcohol relapse prevention program in the Hastings, an outreach of the Buttery Rehab clinic in Byron Bay.
"I work with people on the barriers to remain abstinent or becoming abstinent, going through the minefield of Centrelink, Community Housing as well as working on their abstinence, or to get them into rehab," she said.
"I work with a lot of people who are homeless."
The Buttery is one of a number of community organisations which has banded together in the lead-up to Homelessness week (August 5-9) to call for donations.
Those organisations are New Horizons, Lifeline Mid Coast, Community Housing Ltd, Orange Sky Laundry, Vinnies Hastings Accommodation Solutions, Liberty Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Port Macquarie Neighbourhood Centre, The Buttery and HARP Liver Clinic & Sexual Health services.
They are asking for donations of the following.
- Small padlocks
- Wet weather jackets
- Personal hygiene items
The items can be donated to New Horizons, 2/137 Gordon Street, Port Macquarie.
Simple items such as padlocks can help people sleeping rough feel more comfortable in knowing their bags are secure while they sleepTracey Rogerson
Tracey Rogerson a case worker at New Horizons said simple items can make all the difference to people sleeping rough.
"Items such as padlocks can help people sleeping rough feel more comfortable in knowing their bags are secure while they sleep," she said.
Mrs Rogerson said homelessness is a significant problem in the area.
"New Horizons has worked with around 1200 people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in the past financial year," she said.
"When you take into consideration there are multiple specialist homelessness services in the area, it suggests homelessness is a major concern within the Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA."
For this year's Homelessness Week (August 5-9) these community organisations will host a pay-it-forward event at the Glasshouse Forecourt on Monday August 5 from 10.30am to 1.30pm.
There will be the 'Big Red Bus' providing food to purchase, musical entertainment and the Port Macquarie Neighborhood Center will be selling beanies produced by the Women's Shed.
All the money raised will go towards people experiencing homelessness.
Donation bins will be on site at the Glasshouse Forecourt.