The number of people sleeping rough in the south-west has increased in recent years, according to support agencies in the region.
A number of homelessness support workers spoke at a forum at Warrnambool's Civic Green on Thursday to mark Homelessness Week.
Brophy Family and Youth Services housing and support linkages senior worker Michael Gysen said there had been an increase in people forced to sleep on the streets due to a chronic shortage of affordable housing.
"We've all been to Melbourne and bigger city areas where sleeping rough is quite prevalent," Mr Gysen said.
"More and more we are seeing that in the Warrnambool area."
Mr Gysen said some people were choosing to move to regional areas, where there were chronic shortages of affordable and emergency accommodation options.
Brophy is able to offer support to people sleeping rough by providing people with swags, backpacks and toiletries, but finding a place for them to live was extremely challenging, Mr Gysen said.
"We might not have a house but we will have some resources to make them as comfortable as possible," Mr Gysen said.
Mark Dekker, who also works at Brophy as a senior practitioner, said the rising cost of rent had hit people on lower incomes hard.
"People say that rent in Warrnambool has gone up by 25 per cent but it's actually more than that when you look at the entry level properties," he said.
Mr Dekker said properties that were previously rented out for $200 a week were now being leased for up to double that.
"It's gone up double in some cases at that entry level from say $200 to $380, $390, $400 and that's just unsustainable - particularly on low incomes."
Mr Dekker said it was difficult for support workers when they were unable to find homes for people.
"When people are absolutely on their knees, we're often saying 'here's a swag' or 'here's a sleeping bag' and then we have to go home and live with that," he said.
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