SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local organization is not letting the coronavirus pandemic stop them from reminding people to complete the 2020 Census.
Arkansas United said they are combining its efforts. While they’re reaching out to families spreading awareness about reducing the spread of COVID-19, they’re also speaking to them about the importance of being counted in 2020.
The census is taken every 10 years, it’s a count of all of the residents in the United States. It helps figure out how much federal funding goes directly into your communities for public services, education, roads and hospitals to name a few.
According to U.S. Census the state of Arkansas has a 56.5% response rate that means 43.5 % of mailers have not returned.
Mireya Reith with Arkansas United said every person not counted means less money the state receives and we need these funds to get us out of this pandemic.
“We’re talking about communities and families that are working through life and death situations and to add something more to their plates when there is so much else they need to navigate. It’s been really challenging,”said Reith.
Arkansas United also working to reach the hard to count population which includes people who live in rural communities, minorities, and immigrants. They’re less likely to be counted in the census but they’re also some of the same groups hit the hardest during this health crisis.
The organization hopes to dispel any misinformation there is about completing the census and assist families with any barriers they may face.
The census can be filled out online, by mail, or over the phone. It can be completed in 13 languages. It does not ask any questions about your legal status in the country, you don’t need to provide your social security number and all of the personal information collected is kept private.
New census mailers have been sent out to people who have not responded the first time around.
Arkansas United is working alongside community leaders and doing outreach on social media. The organization is also planning a call to action campaign and phone bank at the end of July.
Census takers are expected to start its door to door initiative in August and the deadline to complete the census is October 31st.