AUSTIN, Texas — Housing advocates say homeless Americans are resorting to storage units for shelter, however the trend, aside from being illegal, can also be dangerous.

Approximately 613,000 Americans live without a roof over their heads, according to data from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

“We tend to talk a lot about the root causes of homelessness and affordable housing is really the main one. We also lack wages that pay enough for a family to live on. Our healthcare system is still quite strained and expensive,” said National Coalition for the Homeless interim director Megan Hustings.

While data on homelessness is hard to come by, there seems to be a consensus on who is affected.

“Working folks. People who just can’t afford a place to live,” said Hustings.

Some believe those in the homeless community have been looking at alternative forms of shelter.

“I don’t think anyone goes out, rents a storage unit and plans to live in it, just because its four walls and a roof doesn’t mean you should be in there, there are definitely lots of things that could go wrong,” said SpareFoot editor Alexander Harris.

SpareFoot is an Austin-based business connecting people with nearby storage units. They tackled the topic saying it’s still a rare occurrence, but one that is bound to happen.

Homeless advocacy groups say it is instinct. In the search for immediate shelter, storage units may seem alluring but hunkering down in one is a risk.

“It’s very dangerous. There is no lighting. There is often no ventilation. There is no electricity. So it’s very bare bones. It’s only meant to store your stuff,” said Harris.

Still, some say between that and nothing it makes sense why some make the decision to live in a unit.

“When you don’t have that you’re forced to find it in whatever way you can,” said Hustings.

The National Coalition for the Homeless has more resources and information on topics like public housing.