It started with some milk crates, a BMX bike and a portable baby cot. But it wasn't unusual at first.
Those doing it tough have long been known to spend the night behind the Uniting Church in Civic, just a few steps away from the church's early morning centre - and free breakfast menu.
Then, late last year, the numbers on the pavement shot up and a "semi-permanent camp" of people appeared. The church could hear them late into the night. They weren't packing up their trolleys and moving on each morning as they used to.
For the first time, safety concerns forced the church to call in police to ask the group to move on, and most since have.
But, for staff at the support centre, the camp is a symptom of Canberra's "growing" problem with homelessness.
Director Nicole Wiggins said, despite the capital's affluence, more and more people now seemed to be sleeping rough around the city. She said a wave of people using services at the centre described being displaced by the demolition of the ABC public housing flats and other light rail works along Northbourne Avenue in 2017.
"Every night there's at least a few hundred people sleeping out [or couch surfing] now," Ms Wiggins said.
"Some of them camp up at Mount Ainslie, you have people out the back of the church or families in cars along the Cotter in Tuggeranong."
While the charity Safe Shelter offers a place for men to sleep during the winter months, Ms Wiggins said there were no shelters open in summer and no where for people to go with pets.
"That's why you get some people turning down services. Those animals are their life, their security, they're not going to give them up. Mental health is a another problem, and drugs and alcohol, a lot of places won't take you until you're stable."
Off the back of a punishing Canberra heatwave, services say crisis accommodation is now desperately needed for rough sleepers all year round.
The ACT council of social services is calling for another $100 million in public housing investment, following a surge in Canberra rent prices.
Acting director of ACTCOSS Craig Wallace said he was pleased by the government's commitment to public housing renewal, but stressed an urgent intervention was needed in the meantime to address Canberra's housing "market failure".
"We now have couples with dual incomes, without children, who are struggling," he said.
"People are moving out of Canberra to places like Queanbeyan...or they're down to their cars...having to compromise on really basic stuff in their lives like food or petrol or going to the dentist."
The government was concerned about any reports of people sleeping rough especially during extreme heat, a spokesman for Housing Minister Yvette Berry said.
Safe Shelter coordinator Richard Griffiths said a huge spike in demand for the shelter last year came after the ABC flats were knocked down, driven in part by clients with jobs.
"They'd wake up every morning at dawn, walk to the early morning centre for breakfast and head off to work," he said.
This month, the breakfast rush at Uniting came even earlier than usual, as afternoon temperatures climbed to 38 degrees. Maree came for the computers.
Like many of the people who pop in to the centre, Maree will tell you she's been sleeping rough "for a long time".
John McDonald, who's worked at the centre for the past decade, said she's one of about 100 regulars - but more new faces seem to be coming through the doors than ever.
"I like the internet here, they have more computers now," Maree said, grabbing a crossword print out.
The addition of three computers and three tablets last year was part of a $100,000 boost in funding for the centre from the ACT government. It also meant two more part-time staff could come on board and the centre could extend its hours until 2pm.
These days, up to 70 people have been known to arrive for breakfast, including Phillip Rowe, who pops in almost every day for a meal and a shower. Some weeks he also gets a haircut or sees the doctor.
"It's civilised here, and the food is great...it's [not] the same bloody soup every day!" Mr Rowe said.
For many people sleeping rough can also mean long waits for medical procedures. One regular limps his way to the centre most days because he can't have knee surgery until he gets a property, Ms Wiggins said.
Services say government data consistently underestimates the number of Canberrans sleeping rough, and this happened again when the ABC flats were knocked down.
Mr Griffiths said, while the tenants were accommodated, those couch surfing or sleeping in the blocks' laundries and stairwells suddenly had no where to go. They weren't reported to ACT Housing as people were afraid they'd get into trouble, he said.
An ACT government spokesman said the directorate did not believe more people were sleeping rough due to the closure of the flats, but added that some people "may not approach services for support and won't be recorded".
At the centre, no one is formally recorded. People share their name and their story "over a cuppa', Ms Wiggins said, a welcome relief from the barrage of questions usually fired at them by agencies.
A government spokesman said data from the Street to Home program by St Vincent de Paul suggested there were about 40 to 50 people out on the streets each night.
"In terms of the public housing renewal program, we have worked hard to identify people who are couch surfing that are not engaged with our programs," he said.
The spokesman said the ACT had the lowest rate of rough sleepers in Australia, based on 2011 census figures.
That data also showed the territory had the second highest rate of homelessness in the nation, behind only the Northern Territory. The latest figures from the 2016 census have not yet been released.
One regular of the centre, a former Australian Bureau of Statistics worker who did not wish to be named, said there were ways to hide on the street, especially for women.
Domestic violence forced her into rough sleeping in the 70s, but back then the city felt "safer".
"There's more people sleeping out obviously now," she said. "If you're not careful, you'll get noticed."
The woman, who was part of early talks to open the centre more than a decade ago, had since managed to find secure housing.
"I have to keep coming back here or they worry about me," she said. "I bring some art supplies when I can."
This month, for the first time, the ACT government opened the Griffin Centre in response to a heatwave, providing shelter and water for several hours over a 38 degree weekend.
Uniting's early morning centre on Northbourne Avenue is open every week day from 7:30am to 2pm, serving breakfast. Lunch runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Showers, classes and other services, including legal and medical support, are also available.
This winter, Safe Shelter will expand from five nights a week to seven.