It's hoped that more than 100 sleepers will raise $100,000 from this year's Vinnies Community Sleepout in Wagga.
On Friday August 30 at Charles Sturt University, community members, business leaders, school principals, sporting clubs and community organisations are challenged to brave the cold to get a glimpse of the realities of sleeping rough for one night and to help change the lives of community members in need.
The event aims to raise awareness about those who experience disadvantage and homelessness across the Riverina.
"On any given night there are approximately 106,000 Australians experiencing homelessness, an increase of eight per cent since 2006, including 107 people in Wagga," Wagga Central Council President, Jenni Duff said.
"Approximately 60,000 people are under the age of 35 including 17,000 children under the age of 12.
"The majority of people experiencing homelessness are in the prime of their life.
"It is crucial we provide them with support to rebuild their lives and reconnect with the community. It is more important than ever that we prevent homelessness from occurring in the first place."
The money raised will help get a new Vinnies initiative off the ground; the new program will target youth at risk of being homeless or youth experiencing homelessness.
The program aims to connect young people with education, employment and training, through personal development, skill development and work-related activities.
"I got a taste of the event last year and learned homelessness doesn't just happen because of one thing; it can be so many of life's pressures which can ultimately lead to individuals and families finding themselves without a safe place to call home, so I decided to get involved this year and do what I can to help," Mark Atkinson from Wagga band, The Mighty Yak said.
"I encourage everyone to get involved - either as a participant or by donating to someone who is sleeping out. Let's show our support for those in need in Wagga and join me in sleeping out for one night."
To register for the Sleepout (over 18 years of age) or donate go to https://www.communitysleepout.org.au/wagga-wagga