Census 2020: make your voice count

The unprecedented COVID-19 global crisis has brought everyone’s attention to how human services play a critical role in the lives of many.

People who may never thought of needing assistance from a non-profit or government agency just a couple of weeks ago may now have a different point of view of what the community needs.

Trident United Way and Destiny Community Café had planned a big community gathering on April 1, observed nationwide as “Census Day,” to promote filling out your census form and learn about other resources in our area.

Due to the current health crisis, that event is cancelled but we encourage you to fill out your census form online or by phone and spread the word to your friends, family and neighbors so we all do what we can to ensure everyone in our communities is counted! You can respond 24/7 by visiting www.my2020census.gov or by phone at 1-800-354-7271.

This effort is very important to Trident United Way and our community partners because federal support is a lifeline to many programs and whole systems, such as public education, healthcare and financial assistance, that serve thousands of families across the Tri-County region.

We have assembled a Complete Count Committee, which consists of 20 public, private and non-profit organizations who have one common goal: make sure we all count! It’s a grassroots effort covering

High response rates ensure more robust data and more federal funds and resources for the community at least until the next census in 2030. It also means less addresses for census workers to visit that have not responded. July 31st is the last day to self-respond to the 2020 Census by phone, internet or mail.

More than $675 billion of yearly federal money, support and allocation of 435 seats in the U. S. House of Representatives are up for grabs once all the state totals are counted.

Census results are used to allocate congressional seats, redraw congressional and state legislative districts, road planning, health and education programs, pretty much anything the federal government funds.

For just one person not counted, it could mean $26,000 in federal money not coming to our region. If South Carolina’s count increases by just one percent, that could mean an additional $42 million dollars to our state per year.

Put another way, if we don’t raise our hands and do fill out census forms, then another state gets the funding.

With our region in an economic crisis that could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the census is more important than ever before.

Do you part and be counted. Go to www.my2020census.gov or call 1-800-354-7271 to complete your census. It takes less than 10 minutes to fill out and the information you provide is kept confidential and secure.