In its second year running, a new homeless shelter for men in Tuggeranong is filling a need many in the area don't realise exists.
Running on Sunday and Tuesday nights at the Salvation Army hall in Tuggeranong, Safe Shelter South is a partnership between the Rotary Club of Tuggeranong and the Salvation Army.
A similar program exists in Canberra's north, covering seven days a week during winter.
They run completely without government funding, with a roster of volunteers spending their time cooking meals and supervising the centre on evenings.
While the numbers using the Tuggeranong centre are small, incoming president of the Rotary Club of Tuggeranong Georgie Fowler said the issue of homelessness was largely out of sight in the south.
"Because you don't see the homeless here, people don't expect it, because our homeless are often around the bush areas."
"Because you can go to Pine Island or those more sheltered areas where you aren't going to be disturbed or moved on by police, you're not going to be disturbed by other passersby who think you might be up to no good," Ms Fowler said.
"So when you say we have a homelessness problem in Tuggeranong people are quite surprised."
Between two and three men attend the centre each night, and about 15 people used the service last year, Ms Fowler said. She expects numbers to rise this year because the service has increased from one night a week to two.
If Safe Shelter was open more than three nights a week the organisation would have to comply with regulations for hostels, limiting what can be offered. She estimated the homeless population in Tuggeranong was about 40 people sleeping rough at any one time, but said it is hard to know.
"We found that the leading cause of homelessness is legal issues and family crisis," Ms Fowler said.
"So that surprised us because there's a common misconception that drugs and alcohol and general substance abuse lead to those situations, but its not.
"It's really quite staggering when you find out that a lot of men on the street particularly, are students who can't afford rent any more and their family situation has broken down and now they are here."
Ms Fowler said that while it would be good to get government funding, the service would be focusing on offering more services to homeless people and growing first.