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Timeline For Counting Homeless For 2020 Census Reset

Brian Bull

Homeless people will still be counted in the 2020 Census, despite delays due to the pandemic. 

Originally, enumerators with the U.S. Census Bureau had planned to count people experiencing homelessness on March 30th through April 1st. But health and safety concerns halted those plans.

Now census takers will count the unhoused where they’re staying between September 22nd and September 24th.  The 3-day enumeration model began in 2000.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
A homeless man crosses the street near downtown Eugene.

Misty Slater is a spokesperson for the U.S. Census Bureau in Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada.

“We got to soup kitchens, or possibly where people like to sleep outdoors like under bridges, all-night businesses such as transit stations, or 24-hour laundromats," Slater explains.  "That way we can get an accurate count.”

An accurate count means more federal dollars to fund programs and services for the homeless.

Slater adds Census takers will follow the latest public health guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment and social distancing.

Area Census Offices in Eugene, Salem, and Portland are all now re-opened.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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