RESIDENTS across the region will be sleeping rough to raise funds and awareness for homelessness during this year's Community Sleep Out.
The 2020 edition of this one-of-a-kind fundraiser will follow on from the success of the first virtual Vinnies Sleep Out held in June, which raised over $5.7 million.
Locals in Narrandera, Leeton and Griffith will have the chance to take part in the state-wide live-stream on October 23.
"You can join by sleeping in your car, backyard or on your couch," spokesperson Sue Oosthuysen said.
"We are really hoping to see the community get involved, homelessness is a big issue in both cities and rural areas."
There are currently over 116,000 people in Australia who go to bed every night without a safe and secure place to live.
New South Wales accounts for over a third of the national total, with over 37,000 people experiencing homelessness in the state.
Funds raised from the event will go towards supporting St Vincent de Paul Society Care and Support Centres in the local region, which have assisted over 650 people with food, financial aid and access to local services in the past year.
"The important thing is that the money raised in the Murrumbidgee, will stay in the Murrumbidgee," Ms Oosthuysen added.
St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, urged regional communities throughout NSW to unite in a show of solidarity for locals experiencing homelessness.
"Between drought, bushfires and COVID-19, there are a lot of people unsure of when the tide will turn," Mr de Groot said.
"We know around 40 per cent of people sleeping rough in NSW live outside major cities.
"With the funds raised from the NSW Vinnies Community Sleep Out, we'll be able to continue assisting people doing it tough at a time when they need it most."
Last year close to 300 people took part in the Community Sleep Out, raising just under $160,000 to support charitable work in local communities.
Vinnies used those funds to provide food, clothing, temporary accommodation and support with bills to people experiencing hardship.
The launch of this year's Community Sleep Out will coincide with Homelessness Week, which has seen Mr de Groot call on NSW Government to invest in social housing as part of the post-COVID recovery.