John Kilby knows all too well how hard life can be on the streets. After becoming acquainted with a "bad crowd" and finding himself on the wrong side of the law, Mr Kilby found himself in a horrific cycle.
"I found my feet and started working for a while, but then I got into trouble when I was in Sydney," he said.
"I was up there for 10 years, and I was on and off the streets. I was in two relationships, and they were toxic, so I was always up and down."
Mr Kilby came back to Wagga in 2004 and found himself in trouble again, which set him back.
"It was hard to get a job because everyone assumes you are on ice so don't want to give you a chance," he said.
"Being homeless, you lose motivation, and you have no drive to better yourself."
Mr Kilby couch-surfed a lot in Wagga, but there were some nights he wouldn't have a place to sleep. That meant being on the street in freezing temperatures.
"I would spend the whole night walking just to keep warm and waiting for the sun to come up," he said. "You would have to try and hide your sleeping bag during the day and hope when you came back that it was still there."
Mr Kilby recently completed an eight-month course aimed at helping those who have committed criminal offences to start afresh in life.
"I would recommend this course," he said.
"It was intense and taught us about the influence of drugs and people, but it was also about how to better yourself."
Mr Kilby, since the course, has paid off debts he owed, secured his driver's licence and is on the hunt for work.
"They were saying having your driver's licence is a privilege, and it is," he said.
"I have been clean for 13 months now. I have been setting myself small goals to move my life forward."
Mr Kilby said he would caution anyone against judging someone living on the streets because it "could happen to you".
The Vinnies Community Sleepout is a chance for Wagga locals from all walks of life to get an idea of what those facing homelessness in the town experience.
Call the team to register on 6923 1904.