U.S. Census Bureau's Service Based Enumeration to begin 9/22

Starting tomorrow, trained Census staff are conducting surveys and collecting information at interim housing sites, meal sites, and outdoor locations across the region. Visits to interim housing sites are pre-scheduled – if you have not heard from a local Census office, please refer to the information below. The enumeration of encampments and other outdoor locations, also known as Targeted Non-Sheltered Outdoor Locations (TNSOL), begins the evening of Wednesday, September 23 and runs the following day. 

The information below and attached, courtesy of Homebase, provides an overview of what service providers can expect in the days ahead.  We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. 
In these challenging times, we appreciate your assistance and commitment to ensuring that people experiencing homelessness have the opportunity to be counted in the Census. 
From Homebase (statewide Census partner):
The information below, courtesy of Homebase, provides an overview of what service providers can expect in the days ahead:
Service-Based Enumeration (Sept. 22 – 24)
If you have not heard from Area Census Office staff to schedule an enumeration appointment, please reach out to your local Area Census Office as soon as possible. 
  • Please see here for a map of Area Census Office locations to find the office nearest you, and please see here for Area Census Office contact information.
Service Based Enumeration Operational Updates (Interim Housing Sites, Meal Sites)
Shelters, including COVID-19 temporary shelters and Project Roomkey sites, have three available enumeration methods:
  1. In-person interviews: Census staff will arrive to conduct in-person interviews after doors close for the night.
  2. Paper response data collection: A Census worker will collect the listing from the shelter contact at an agreed-upon date and time. There are several ways data can be provided through paper response data collection:
a. Shelter staff can compile the data to provide to Census staff; 
b. The City or County can assist shelters with compiling this data to then have 
the shelter staff provide it to Census staff; or
c. Shelters can use a paper roster as a sign-in sheet for residents to fill in and 
provide the roster to Census staff.
3. Drop-off/pick-up: Census staff will drop off individual Census questionnaires for 
residents to fill out and then Census staff will pick them up at a specified 
Food banks, food vans, and soup kitchens will be counted through in-person interviews. Census staff will strive to make appointments for large mealtimes and when as many people are present as possible.
Temporary Non-Sheltered Outdoor Location (TNSOL) Enumeration (Sept. 23 – 24)
Targeted Non-Sheltered Outdoor Locations (TNSOL) will be counted through in-person interviews, if available, and otherwise through observational count if people are sleeping or unavailable, starting around 9:00 pm the night of September 23 and through the day of September 24. Enumeration at RV/Vehicle locations start around 7:00 pm on September 23
  • To assist Census field staff at outdoor locations, service providers are encouraged to:
  • Check in with Census staff in the field to ask how things are going and how they can provide support;
  • Provide assistance with locating and connecting with residents at encampments;
  • Be sworn in in the field to provide language assistance with individual Census interviews.
Additional Resources
  • Service Based Enumeration Overview (Video): Please see here for a brief video providing information on how people experiencing homelessness can participate in the Census, and how community service providers can help. This video includes an overview of Service Based Enumeration (Sept. 22-24), Targeted Non-Sheltered Outdoor Location enumeration (Sept. 23-24), and self-response options online or by phone.
  • For further details and updates, agencies can also refer to the State's outreach partner, Homebase, and its website at https://www.homebaseccc.org/census2020 or email questions by reaching out to [email protected].

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