This year the Homeless Resource Network, in conjunction with Emergency Shelter Services in Benton Harbor, counted 594 homeless people in Berrien County — the highest number since the network began the count several years ago.
For this study, homelessness was broadened to include not just those living on the street but also people in unsafe or temporary housing.
There were 21 homeless adults counted in the Niles and Buchanan area, while Brandywine High School and Niles High School has 35 and 23 homeless students respectively.
The count took place Jan. 26 and was done throughout the county. The statistics were then forwarded to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to be used to determine funding for area agencies.The Emergency Shelter’s executive director, Alysia Babcock, said the total number of homeless people is significantly up from 2008 when they counted 257 and 2009 and 2010 when there were fewer than 100 counted.