The number of people sleeping rough in Exeter has increased sharply over the past five years.
The city has the second highest rate of rough sleeping outside London, behind only Brighton and Hove.
Homelessness charity St Petrock's says it worked with 304 people in Exeter last year.
Over the past five years, there has been a 38% increase in the number of visits to the centre.
The charity says a high percentage of homeless people have mental health problems and issues with alcohol or substance addiction.
Charity Julian House has been awarded a contract to provide an 'assertive outreach' service to contact and help rough sleepers.
Staff say it's important to provide support as soon as possible to people who are living on the streets.
The Julian House outreach team is based at the coLab - a community hub which brings together different agencies like probation, crisis services and a GP practice under one roof.
CoLab say they have 32 projects based at the centre and these are grouped into four categories:
- preventing reoffending
- recovery from drug and alcohol misuse
- health and wellbeing
CoLab's chief executive says it's a major benefit for people to be able to access a range of services in a single place.
The charity warns as well as those sleeping on the streets there are many others sofa surfing who are not as obviously homeless.
Julian House works with Exeter City Council's environmental health department, which can get complaints from members of the public who feel threatened by groups of homeless people.
The program is trying to change how people who sleep rough are perceived.