Making sure every person counts in the 2010 Census is an enormous undertaking, particularly for homeless individuals who will not receive a questionnaire in the mail. Increased funding for critical services comes into communities as a result of an accurate count – things like emergency services, job training, hospitals, and public infrastructure support. One Virginia organization is making sure their communities get all the services they need by making an accurate count a top priority.
The Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH) works to prevent and eliminate homelessness in the state through a number of methods including education, advocacy and capacity building. They are employing these same tactics to ensure the homeless population of Virginia is counted in this year’s census.
By working with case managers and staff at homeless service agencies who already have relationships with individuals experiencing homelessness, VCEH hopes to build trust with this community and start a movement. VCEH will also provide technical assistance to the community with clear instructions on how to be counted. With an accurate count, those experiencing homelessness will be one step closer to getting the resources they need to build power and create lasting change.