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Census takers head to homeless shelters, outdoor camps

Starting this week, census takers are grabbing reflective vests, face masks and flashlights and heading out at night to count homeless people for the 2020 census

9/23/2020 9:29:00 AM

Starting this week, census takers are grabbing reflective vests, face masks and flashlights and heading out at night to count homeless people for the 2020 census.

Starting this week, census takers are grabbing reflective vests, face masks and flashlights and heading out at night to count homeless people for the 2020 census

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated PressLOS ANGELES -- Starting this week, census takers are grabbing reflective vests, face masks, bug spray and flashlights and heading out at night in groups of four to track down one of the hardest populations to count in the 2020 census — the homeless.

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Over three days and nights this week, census takers will fan out to shelters, soup kitchens, mobile food van stops and other places across the U.S. where people experiencing homelessness often gather. They will follow that with overnight visits to encampments, under bridges, transit stations and other places where people live outside.

Delayed for six months by the global pandemic, it’s one of the hardest logistical operations the U.S. Census Bureau undertakes.Some 49,000 locations have been identified across the U.S., including more than 33,000 outdoor encampments, almost 10,000 shelters and 5,000 soup kitchens, Al Fontenot, the bureau's associate director, told an advisory committee last week.

“We are making every effort to make sure that no one is left out of the count," Fontenot said.The relatively warm weather, as well as the fact that most homeless shelters are only operating at 25% to 50% capacity because of coronavirus precautions, has some homeless advocates worried that the Census Bureau won't get an accurate count of the homeless population.

The census takers need to drive down every street, count people living under overpasses, in doorways, behind bushes and in tents, said Mike Arnold, president and CEO, of the Midnight Mission, which provides beds, meals and drug rehab on Los Angeles' Skid Row.

“When it’s warm outside, people are dispersed. There tends to be less density around homeless shelters and where people get services," Arnold said. “The best time to count is when it’s cold and when it’s dark, the way the county’s count is done. Fewer people are moving around and people are bedded down.”

Trying to count people living outdoors will be the toughest part of the homeless enumeration, said Beth Shinn, a professor at Vanderbilt University who researches homelessness.“People have good reason to be hidden when they’re outdoors, for safety reasons," Shinn said. “People find places to be that aren’t necessarily visible to passersby.”

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The homeless count is starting as the Census Bureau's effort to account for people living in transitory housing winds down at the end of the month. That count started at the beginning of September when 12,500 census takers started visiting more than 60,000 RV parks, campgrounds, marinas, and hotels and motels where people live who are on the move.

Meanwhile, census takers continue knocking on the doors of homes whose residents have not yet responded to the 2020 census, which helps determine $1.5 trillion in federal spending annually and how many congressional seats each state gets.Field operations for the 2020 census are set to end Sept. 30, provided courts don't grant requests for a month extension made by civil rights groups, cities and counties.

With both the count of the homeless and those living in transitory housing, people will be counted where the census takers find them, and not where they were on April 1, which is the date used as a reference for counting most people in the U.S. Part of the reason for that has to do with concerns over “recall bias," or a person's ability to remember where they were six months ago.

For the homeless count, if someone is sleeping, a census taker will just do a head count instead of getting additional information about the person's race, sex, Hispanic origin and age.“Always remember to treat everyone with dignity and respect, no matter what,” said a tip sheet given to census takers doing the homeless count.

Nowhere in the U.S. is the homeless crisis more visible than in downtown Los Angeles, where hundreds of people live in makeshift shanties that line entire blocks in the notorious neighborhood known as Skid Row. Tents regularly pop up on the pavement outside City Hall, and encampments are increasingly found in suburban areas under freeway overpasses. A count last January by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported that there were more than 66,400 homeless people living in Los Angeles County, up more than 12% from the previous year.

The wildfires in California, and around major cities like Los Angeles, add another twist to the state's homeless problem, as thousands of people have been temporarily displaced. Census takers have headed to Red Cross shelters to count people who did not fill out their forms earlier.

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“The question for me ... is if they are counted at all,” said U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez, a Democrat from Los Angeles. “That is a big concern with wildfires raging across California."———Schneider reported from Orlando, Florida. Read more: ABC News »

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Instead of “counting” help them. 🤦🏻‍♀️ a GeorgePual3 Some pretty big camps in some pretty remote places, doubt they will hit those. Watch your step. Avoid all the human feces. 💘 Patriots Nothing says census takers & state govt cares like gathering a homeless persons information for federal funds while that same govt who receives the funds continues to ignore them.

How many people live in your tent? What's that? Ruffles potato chips are your favorite you say? Okay. I'll just mark down 2 then. Have a nice day. merda de verdade assola meu cerebelo Good news 👍🏽 Canvas in teams. THAT is DANGEROUS. They need to set up somewhere, before night fall and have the homeless come to them.

are they countable for Votes? is this Trump policy? get their Votes in the ballot and doing them nothing? 頑張って下さいね!

Order to shorten 2020 census didn't come from Census Bureau, watchdog saysThe Commerce Department's internal watchdog has warned that the order to cut short the 2020 census did not come from the Census Bureau—and even the bureau's director doesn't know who ultimately made the call. No one is surprised at the incompetence and/or corruption at this point; 43/120 Election/Inauguration Hello fam add me on snapchat: tomholland590 📲:4156620573 order your top shelf cannabis and other thc products WOW WHAT A FREAKING MYSTERY TRY D.J. RUMP

Advisory committee urges extra time for 2020 censusA top advisory committee to the U.S. Census Bureau is urging the statistical agency to allow the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident to continue through October instead of finishing at the end of September It's not helpful to show people who improperly wear a mask. You wouldn't show a photo of somebody driving recklessly unless the article was about that.

Guy Who Asked For Personal Information Definitely Seemed Like Census TakerBANDON, OR—Explaining that the visitor had appeared legitimate for the most part, area man Robert Moralis told reporters the guy who came to his house Tuesday and asked for his personal information definitely seemed like a census taker. “Anyone who wants that many details about that many areas of my life would, I think, just about have to be from the census,” said Moralis, adding that the shaking, profusely sweating man who had what appeared to be fresh blood stains on his pants didn’t present any credentials identifying himself as a census worker, but did carry a clipboard and looked as if he knew what he was doing, more or less. “While I admit it was unexpected, considering I mailed in my census form months ago, I’m sure they have to send people around sometimes to ask a few follow-ups and double-check things. He had a lot of questions about where I do my banking and was really careful to get my Social Security number down correctly, but hey, that’s his job, right? They must keep him busy, too, because he kept looking over his shoulder and as soon as he was finished, he took off running.” Moralis went on to muse over how modernized the census had become, observing that a decade ago they didn’t even bother asking you to provide a complete list of usernames and passwords for all the websites you visit. ParyKing l o l That makes no census

Census Could Look 'Manipulated' If Cut Short By Trump Officials, Bureau WarnedCurtailing the time for conducting the census in the middle of a pandemic will lead to 'fatal data quality flaws that are unacceptable,' Census Bureau career officials warned in an internal document. The MORON wants to manipulate it. Representation is based on the census, and he doesn't want American Citizens to vote either. The whole GOP works endlessly to find ways to cheat you out of your vote, and your representation in government. Honesty means nothing to them. Your Sec. of Commerce, ladies and gents: In the 1980s, Donald Trump's three casinos in Atlantic City were under threat of foreclosure from lenders. Ross convinced bondholders to strike a deal that allowed Trump to keep control of the casinos. Worse here: Ya think? 🤔

The states with the best and worst census response ratesMany of the people who remain uncounted live in hard-to-reach areas with little to no access to the internet. That’s probably because people in Arkansas can’t read? Honestly who cares? It’s so rigged Yeah, no sh!t.

Guy Who Asked For Personal Information Definitely Seemed Like Census TakerBANDON, OR—Explaining that the visitor had appeared legitimate for the most part, area man Robert Moralis told reporters the guy who came to his house Tuesday and asked for his personal information definitely seemed like a census taker. “Anyone who wants that many details about that many areas of my life would, I think, just about have to be from the census,” said Moralis, adding that the shaking, profusely sweating man who had what appeared to be fresh blood stains on his pants didn’t present any credentials identifying himself as a census worker, but did carry a clipboard and looked as if he knew what he was doing, more or less. “While I admit it was unexpected, considering I mailed in my census form months ago, I’m sure they have to send people around sometimes to ask a few follow-ups and double-check things. He had a lot of questions about where I do my banking and was really careful to get my Social Security number down correctly, but hey, that’s his job, right? They must keep him busy, too, because he kept looking over his shoulder and as soon as he was finished, he took off running.” Moralis went on to muse over how modernized the census had become, observing that a decade ago they didn’t even bother asking you to provide a complete list of usernames and passwords for all the websites you visit. ParyKing l o l That makes no census