Anyone you work with, socialise with or walk past on your morning jog could be homeless and in need of help, says Port Macquarie mayor Peta Pinson.
Cr Pinson remembers her own time living homeless after being displaced from the family home as a teenager and speaks candidly about the impacts it still has on her life.
She said reading a recent news article about Port Macquarie breakfast radio announcer Jason 'Bodge' Bodger made her stop and reflect on her own experiences of homelessness.
"It makes you think about your own story and it really resonated with me because he was the same age," Cr Pinson said.
"His story is a lot more harrowing than my own. Mine was a story of girl meets boy, boy likes girl and girl's parents don't like boy."
Cr Pinson lived with her mother, brother and father at Holsworthy Australian Army base in south-western Sydney. Her father was an Army soldier and her mother worked in the cafeteria.
I felt displaced, unloved, unwanted and abandoned by my parents. I felt angry as well and I did think that it wouldn't last. I didn't realise it would be the end of my relationship with my parents, because we don't speak even now.Mayor Peta Pinson
"I met a boy and really liked the boy (now husband, Craig). My parents didn't like him and there was a lot of arguing about not going out with him and having a curfew," she said.
"I was doing what 16-year-olds do and rebelling. There was arguing and I was forbidden to see him.
"(I wanted to debate the point and) I was tossed out of home very unceremoniously. I kind of thought they'd get over it.
"When my clothes were thrown out the front door I remember it was very definite. Relatives of Craig came to pick things up and it was a really sad time for me.
"It's a real shame because that was the pivotal moment of the breakdown of my family, which at times I've mourned over.
"I felt displaced, unloved, unwanted and abandoned by my parents. I felt angry as well and I did think that it wouldn't last. I didn't realise it would be the end of my relationship with my parents, because we don't speak even now.
"We are estranged as a result of this. We did have a reconciliation attempt years later when my son was born but that wasn't very successful.
"It took me a long time to come to terms with it. I've lived my life with the acceptance that my parents have not been supportive of my life journey."
As a homeless 16-year-old in Sydney, Cr Pinson stayed in a children's bedroom of a home owned by Craig's sister.
"I stayed with her for about two months and I felt that I was intruding on a young family. All my friends were still at school and I'd found myself in an unusual situation. I was a bit sad and lonely," she said.
"In the transition from leaving school during year 12 it was suggested I stay with Craig's grandmother. So I stayed with her for six or seven months.
"I loved the art of story telling and I had wanted to be a journalist by getting a cadetship until that point. But that changed to thinking about the day-to-day and I grew my independence very quickly."
Craig sold his Ford Meteor to pay for the deposit on a $65,000 house near Campbelltown. Cr Pinson left school before finishing high school and took a job as a medical receptionist.
The pair lived frugally before later moving to help run the Moorebank Hotel in 1991 and relocated to Port Macquarie in 1992 for the birth of a second child.
"I had a roof over my head, clothes and a meal to come home to at the end of the day. But we did live very simply and that's the story of all young people starting out," she said.
Acknowledging her past, Cr Pinson is now encouraging members of the public to remember everybody needs a home during Homelessness Week 2020 from August 2 to 8.
A state of homelessness can be a moment in time in your life. It's a wonderful thing to be involved in helping someone through hard times.Mayor Peta PInson
She said during her teen years she never considered herself homeless but understood she was displaced.
"I think back to that time and I think I didn't associate with being homeless. I thought I was displaced and in limbo," she said.
"When we think of homelessness it can be the face of someone we work with, it could be your friend who is camped on your couch or someone you see living in their car on your walk.
"A state of homelessness can be a moment in time in your life. It's a wonderful thing to be involved in helping someone through hard times.
"To this day I sometimes think on Mother's Day especially, I wonder if my mother ever thinks about the fact that she has grandchildren. It wasn't just losing a home that day, it was losing my family as well."