10/13/2013 08:19 EDT | Updated 12/14/2013 05:12 EST

Have You Seen Vancouver's 'Invisible' Homeless?

When people typically think of the homeless, they picture panhandlers and dumpster divers.

But as Homelessness Action Week kicks off Sunday, advocates say they want to highlight Vancouver's "invisible" homeless population.

"Many of the homeless we don't actually know are living in our communities," said Vancouver city councillor Kerry Jang.

"A lot of these folks are youths and actually families — people who are working full time and they just don't have a place to go at this time. They try to stay with families and friends when they can. These are folks who work paycheck to paycheck. If they lose their jobs or some disaster happens, these people can become homeless very quickly."

Vancouver will be hosting more than 40 events during Homelessness Action Week, drawing attention to needs of those  who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless.

The most recent homeless count in Vancouver found about 300 people are on the streets, while more than 1,300 have found temporary housing in shelters.

Deb Bryant, Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness, says it's difficult to know exactly how many people would be considered the "invisible" homeless.

"What we typically think of is the visible population of people on streets or sleeping on tarps, we've made strides in getting some of those street homeless into shelters," she said.

"Where we haven't been as effective are people who are not visibly homeless."

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