A coalition of groups that helps Montreal's homeless population says the problem is spreading beyond the city's downtown core.

RAPSIM says the census of homeless people conducted last year shows new trends in homelessness, and should change how the city and agencies help people.

That survey showed there are 3,000 permanently homeless people in Montreal, while roughly an equal number cycle in and out of homelessness.

Social workers say this second group couch surfs, and moves onto the street when they wear out their welcome with a friend or family member.

Pierre Gaudreau of RAPSIM said his umbrella group is also aware of more homeless people in Cote des Neiges/Notre Dame de Grace, and the West Island.

He said that any problems are ones that can be fixed by creating more social housing.

"We have a very good homelessness policy that says we have to invest in social housing," said Gaudreau.

He hopes next week's provincial budget will include more money for housing after several years of scaling back.

There are currently 22,000 social housing units in Montreal, and Gaudreau hopes the budget will include money for an additional 3,000 people.

Quebec has a goal of reducing homelessness by two-thirds by 2020, and that plan includes appointing an ombudsperson for the homeless.