Census Bureau Statement on Coronavirus and the 2020 Census MORE INFO HERE The U.S. Census Bureau is carefully monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will follow the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities.
Census 2020 – Let’s get Counted
SHAPE YOUR FUTURE, TAKE THE CENSUS – YOUR HEALTH DEPENDS ON IT! Census Results help determine federal funding for Maine’s Behavioral Health Programs
What is the Census and Why is it Important?
The census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every ten years. The Constitution requires that every person in the United States be counted—adults, children and babies, citizens, immigrants, and anyone living in this country. States use census data to determine representation in Congress. States and localities also use census data to plan where health clinics, schools, and roads will be built. The federal government uses census data to help allocate over $800 billion a year in federal funds.
In 2016, $4.1 billion in federal funds was allocated to Maine based oncensus data. $1.1 billion went to social service programs directly serving Mainers. This money was essential to making behavioral health prevention and treatment available to Mainers from young children to adults.
Avoiding an undercount of adults in crisis, young children, and rural residents.
Despite the vital importance of the census, we face a potential undercount of certain hard to count populations. Why does this matter? The 2020 census will determine how much federal funding Maine receives each year for the next decade. When we aren’t counted, communities don’t get their fair share of federal dollars for mental and behavioral health, public assistance, public health insurance, housing, child care, social programs and services vital to keeping us healthy.
Did you know that every person missed in the census is $15,000- $20,000 of federal funds lost to Maine over the course of a decade?
Why Mainers Accessing Behavioral Health Services May Not Participate in the Census:
- They don’t think the census has an impact on their life
- They don’t feel comfortable sharing personal information. They worry information will be used against them. Individuals are concerned that personal information provided to the census could interfere with housing, Social Security, MaineCare, and other social benefit programs. This is of particular concern when people have waited years to get an eligibility determination.
- They are experiencing homelessness and cannot be located.
Is the Census Safe?
Data collected is protected by law and cannot be shared with anyone including other government agencies, immigration or law enforcement under penalty of fines and imprisonment. Census records only get released every 72 years.
How Can Providers of Mental & Behavioral Health Services Help Mainers Get Counted?
Agency Awareness: Talk about the Census with teams in your Agency, and put up posters at all your sites & offices from now until the end of April, 2020. Make sure all your employees know why the Census matters!
- Share Census Information Widely: Let the communities you serve know why the Census should matter to them and that the Census is
- You Are A Trusted Partner: As trusted care staff encourage your clients to participate in the Census by helping them gain access to the survey online or at a local library etc. Studies show that surveys conducted in partnership with a trusted community group, advocacy organization, or person they already know are the most successful.
- Every Person Counts: Let your clients know how important the Census is to obtaining and keeping access to services they and their families rely on, including MaineCare, income supports for housing, food etc., and education.
Every person counted represents roughly $1,642 yearly federal funding received in Maine.
Spread the Word that the Census is Safe – The law requires the Census Bureau to keep everyone’s information confidential. By law, your responses cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way. The Census Bureau will not share an individual’s responses with immigration enforcement agencies, law enforcement agencies, or allow that information to be used to determine eligibility for government benefits.
How will the Census Work?
Click the Map Below to Link to an Interactive Map to Compare State’s Census Response Rates
For the first time, beginning March 16, people can fill out the census on-line, over the telephone or on paper. You may help your clients complete the census using their phone or yours or any computer, or a telephone, just make sure they are answering the questions themselves. The Census is available in English and Spanish, and if people call in to respond, their answers can be taken in 12 languages and there are 59 languages with either videos or glossaries explaining how to answer each question.
- March 12 – 20: Households began receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.
- March 30 – April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
- April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
- April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers will also begin following up with households that have not yet responded in areas that include off-campus housing, where residents are not counted in groups.
- May – July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
- December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.
Sources to Help You Spread the Word:
How $4.1 Billion dollars of Federal funding is apportioned using the census in Maine Counting For Dollars ME (George Washington University Oct 2019)
Maine Immigrant Census 2020 Campaign Video with clips in 14 primary and secondary languages predominate in Maine.
- Arabic – Israa Enan https://youtu.be/vTBwabail84
- Russian – Rustam Ahmadov https://youtu.be/
- French – Heritier Nosso https://youtu.be/
- Lingala – Heritier Nosso https://youtu.be/j5m_6q3BwcA
- Telugu – Ashok Nalamalapu https://youtu.be/
- Farsi – Roya Hejabian https://youtu.be/
- Khmer/Vietnamese – Chanbopha Himm https://youtu.be/
- Kinyarwanda – Claude Rwaganje https://youtu.be/
- Azerbaijani – Tural Nadirli https://youtu.be/
- Spanish – Blanca Santiago https://youtu.be/
- Somali – Yusuf Yusuf https://youtu.be/
- Portuguese – Sophie Leu https://youtu.be/
- Pashto – Ziaurddin Lodin https://youtu.be/
- Dari – Ziaurddin Lodin https://youtu.be/
Step by step how to respond to the Census (There will be videos in 59 languages about how to fill out the census. This video is in English)
For more information, please contact Helen Hemminger at email@example.com or Jen Christian firstname.lastname@example.org or the US Reginal Census Specialist, Becky Hayes-Boober email@example.com