With backyard balconies overlooking her, Joanne Hottes sits tall in her makeshift home beneath a park shelter adjacent a popular Gold Coast beach.
She is just metres from the tourist-heavy sands, yet her reality is a world away from her temporary, sometimes affluent, neighbours.
"This has been my sanctuary for the last couple of days," Joanne said.
"It's like a camping experience for me.
"I like making little cubbies and just making everyone comfortable."
She hangs blankets and tarpaulins from the rafters of the park shelter with torn pieces of clothing for privacy and protection from the weather.
Joanne has been living rough for years on the Gold Coast and knows the drill: she will be moved on but is not sure when.
Until then, she does her best to fit in with the neighbours.
"Everyone's on their own catwalk here and everyone's so caught up in their own worlds, but it's about respecting the neighbourhood as well, because they've allowed us to stay in a place," Joanne said.
"At the end of the day, we are still humans, whether you're homeless or the richest person.
"They're all one level. We're all one level."
Joanne became homeless with her partner through a combination of circumstances, including unaffordable rent.
She has a teenage daughter, who travels from interstate to visit her on the Gold Coast.
A milestone birthday wish
Joanne has worked in hospitality, but gaining employment feels out of reach when she struggles to find a regular place to have a hot shower and clean up for an interview.
"We've both come to a realisation that we don't like living like this," she said.
"It is not something we choose, but we have no choice at the moment."
Joanne this month celebrated her 40th birthday in the park with the friends she met on the street.
She has made a wish that this will be her last birthday while homeless.
"I actually want to be in a nice place somewhere, in a place where I've got my independence again, and stability," Joanne said.
"By 41, my goal is to be in a home and just be the mum I need to be for my girl. Every day I wake up is a good day."
A city-wide issue
At a housing summit held on the Gold Coast last month, delegates heard high rental costs and low vacancy rates were contributing to homelessness.
Q Shelter, which aims to improve housing outcomes for Queenslanders, estimates the Gold Coast has nearly 2,000 homeless people, with 300 sleeping rough every night.
Joanne and many of the homeless community rely on local charities like HavaFeed to fill their stomachs.
It provides meals four times a week to anyone that is hungry.
Lindsay and Robyn Burch founded Havafeed 30 years ago when Robyn said she wanted to help the "needy".
Looking back, Robyn said there was hardly any "need" compared to the situation today.
"In the last few months, the volumes have increased dramatically," she said.
"We've gone through food so much faster than we ever thought we would and ever have before."
They both blame the prevalence of domestic violence, the rising cost of living and limited affordable housing, for the unprecedented demand.
"People just can't afford to rent a place. We see people in their cars and living with their children," Lindsay said.
"We are 150 metres away from the Gold Coast Highway and behind us is beautiful parkland leading to Hedges Avenue.
"All of that speaks for itself, but it doesn't help those in need."
Robyn said she had a person come in the other day who said, "I've got enough money to put petrol in my car or buy food".
"And I said, 'Well you go put the petrol in your car and I'll give you the food'," she said.
HavaFeed is bracing for a further influx of demand as Christmas approaches.