The number of homeless people seeking assistance from the Salvation Army in Warrnambool is increasing, a corps officer says. Sally-Anne Allchin said in the past five years she had seen an increase in homelessness in the city. "They're (people are) coming in every couple of days to get food assistance because they don't have a fridge to store it in," she said. Ms Allchin said a man who visited the new Mortlake Road headquarters in October 2023 had "absolutely nothing". "He didn't have shoes on his feet. The best we could do, because it was (Warrnambool) show week in town there was no accommodation, we were able to give him a tent, a sleeping mat, a sleeping bag, some blankets and a cushion," she said. "We gave him a set of clothes and just gave him some basic food supplies because you're in a tent so you've got nowhere to put all of those things and people tend to forget that." Ms Allchin said the increase could be because of the demand on workers as well as the inability for people to pay rent. "We're aware people have moved from Warrnambool back to Melbourne because they can get cheaper rent in (some) parts of Melbourne," she said. "Because there's not enough housing stock here, they (the homeowners) can charge more for rent and people are competing for rent." One way the Salvation Army is combating this issue is through building 21 "forever" home units, which will be co-located on the Mortlake Road site. The $6.5 million social housing development is part of the state government's Big Build roll-out. Ms Allchin said the goal of the development was to encourage people who didn't feel safe where they were to access their services at the headquarters. "So they can come in here and feel safe and confident they'll get looked after. We've got case workers onsite five days a week," she said. Ms Allchin said the Warrnambool branch had also seen an increase in families using the Doorways service, which provides emergency relief and holistic case management. It also refers people to internal and external support services. The Warrnambool headquarters was officially opened on Saturday, November 18 where mayor Ben Blain, South West Coast MP Roma Britnell and several people from the Salvation Army presented speeches.