Getting Everyone Counted in 2020 Census Update

Dates for Counting People Experiencing Homelessness Shift Back

It is critical that everyone gets counted in the 2020 Census.

And everyone includes people experiencing homelessness.  A complete census count is important in helping the government allocate enough resources based on localities’ needs. 
Due to the COVID-19 health pandemic, the timelines and procedures for Census 2020 have been further modified.  These procedures include census-taking procedures, including service-based enumeration, group living enumeration, and counts of people living outside. 
The U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 Census operations. Planning for Census 2020 is at this point, a fluid situation.  Some of the adjustments to the 2020 Census schedule specifically related to counting individuals who are homeless include:
  • The Service Based Enumeration (SBE) now needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders.  The SBE counts people experiencing homelessness at places where they receive services such as shelters, including youth shelters, soup kitchens, and homeless encampments
  • The Enumeration of Transitory Locations (ETL) is tentatively scheduled for September 3– September 28, but may need further review and coordination.  The (ETL) will count people at places such as hotels, motels and campgrounds.
  • The count of people experiencing homelessness outdoors will now needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders. 
If the population of people experiencing homelessness in New Jersey is undercounted, there is the risk of negatively impacting how federal funding is distributed to our state and localities. Many programs that fund efforts to end homelessness are funded based on census derived data.  Programs funded based on, at least in part, census data include include Medicaid, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance, and th Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.
Click here for more information about counting individuals experiencing homelessness in the 2020 Census.
Click here for a table of 2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19.
For more information on 2020 Census changes, visit the 2020 Census Operational Adjustments page.