The U.S. Census Bureau has announced the new schedule for counting people experiencing homelessness in the 2020 Census. The operation was originally scheduled for March 30, March 31 and April 1, but health and safety concerns with COVID-19 forced us to delay these activities.
Between September 22 and 24, the Census Bureau now plans to send specially trained census takers to count people at shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food vans, and locations previously identified by the Census Bureau where people are known to sleep outdoors (like under bridges) and at all-night businesses (such as transit stations and 24-hour laundromats). People experiencing homelessness will be counted where they are staying when census takers visit between September 22-24.
In preparation for counting people experiencing homelessness, the Census Bureau is coordinating with local service providers and consulting with advocacy groups and other stakeholders, throughout the country to adjust our operations accordingly for this audience in response to COVID-19. We have also worked with the administrators at these different service provider locations to utilize rosters to ensure a complete count of this population. Census takers will follow the latest local public health guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment and social distancing.
Census statistics are crucial to programs and service providers that support people experiencing homelessness. A complete and accurate 2020 Census can ultimately help organizations provide better services, more food and improved shelter options to those in need.
For more information, visit 2020census.gov.