Crisis accommodation service Safe Shelter this week recorded its busiest night since it was established, as Canberra has shivered through its coldest morning so far this year.
As the temperature hit close to minus 6 degrees on Tuesday night, the service reached capacity and was forced to turn some homeless people away.
Safe Shelter ACT coordinator Richard Griffiths said he expects the number of people using the service to increase even further as winter rolls on.
"This week has been the first time we've been completely full and had to turn people away. It's the first time since we started in 2013," Mr Griffiths said.
"We couldn't take the man in, so he had to sleep outside the door but we provided him with supplies and hot drinks."
Mr Griffiths said Safe Shelter can take in as many as eight people per night at its three sites at churches in Braddon and Ainslie.
"On other nights this week, we had seven people use the service and the other three nights we've had six people us it," he said.
"I think there's certainly more people using the service and there's more people on the streets."
Safe Shelter's busiest week comes as it increased its service from five nights per week to seven nights per week this year.
In the 10 weeks to the end of June, 219 spaces have been filled through Safe Shelter, with 40 men receiving assistance.
The figure represents a 36 per cent increase in the number of nights provided by the service compared to the same time last year.
"It's quite clear that the [homeless] situation is not getting any better," Mr Griffiths said.
"They are still coming in at the same numbers in the same night."
While the number of nights provided by the service has increased this year, the number of guests has remained relatively steady, with an average of 3.13 guests per night in 2018 compared to 3.2 guests per night in 2017.
Mr Griffiths said the number of people who use Safe Shelter tends to increase even further in late July and August and he expects that trend to continue this year.
"In previous years, numbers pick up towards the end of winter and we're starting to get that now," he said.
"Around that time, homeless people think seriously about being cold, and we may have seen a few more people come in.
"Some people are able to save their Centrelink benefits and can afford a bus ticket to Queensland, but there are some people who can't get there and can't be outside freezing."
While there have been no dangerous incidents so far during winter at the shelters, an ambulance had to be called for one of the guests, according to Safe Shelter figures.
Mr Griffiths said familiar patterns are emerging in the way people use the service.
While some people only use Safe Shelter for one or two nights, while others have used it for four to eight weeks before they disappear.
The coordinator said it isn't uncommon for people using Safe Shelter to not be seen at the accommodation for several weeks before they return.
"We assume that they're couch surfing, and obviously you can't couch surf for too long and outstay your welcome."