The 2020 Census will begin soon in our community, and All Chicago will be working over the next few months to ensure that Continuum of Care members and partner agencies are informed and able to promote an accurate count of all people, especially those individuals currently experiencing homelessness. An accurate count is vitally important for Illinois, as it informs billions of dollars in federal funding and congressional representation. To support this effort and to promote outreach to hard-to-count populations, All Chicago is working in coordination with YWCA of Chicago to implement an awareness campaign to people currently, or formerly, experiencing homelessness and encourage their participation in the 2020 Census. This will include:
- Coordination of efforts and resources with our partner agencies around direct outreach to unsheltered people leading up to the end of March;
- Email campaign to agencies and their staff detailing census processes and how to support their clients’ engagement with the census; and
- Supporting the U.S. Census Bureau with data about homeless outreach.
What Housing Providers Need to Know
Agencies should educate their staff on the Census process so they can communicate it with their program participants. Here’s what they need to know:
- Individuals in Permanent Housing: Starting mid-March, households across the community will receive a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau with instructions on how to complete the census. Following these instructions, Permanent Housing residents can complete the census online at my2020census.gov, by telephone, or by mail. Each letter has a specific code corresponding to a specific address that residents will need to enter when prompted. For assistance completing the survey in languages besides English, your residents can visit this page for instructions in thirteen additional languages.
- Individuals currently experiencing
unsheltered homelessness, or who are in site-based projects like
Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing: The Census includes two
separate processes for people in these situations, occurring between March 30 and
April 1. A detailed outline of the entire 2020 Census process is available here.
- During this time period, U.S. Census Bureau staff will visit site-based housing projects, drop-in centers, and other places offering services to administer the survey to individuals using a shortened paper form.
- Additionally, on the evening of March 31, U.S. Census Bureau staff will canvass the city, inviting individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness to respond to the Census. Participation is voluntary, and all information is confidential.
The Census is Hiring!
The U.S. Census Bureau is still hiring people for temporary Census positions, visit 2020census.gov/jobs to learn more about the available opportunities. All positions offer competitive pay, flexibility, and provide paid training. People of lived experience are especially encouraged to apply.