During March, 2010, The US Census Bureau is going to make a count of everybody who is homeless or living in a shelter. The program, called the Service-Based Enumeration (SBE) by the Census Bureau, will take place over a three-day period this month. It’s going to happen all over the country… on the same days as in Rhode Island.
Street Sights is asking everyone: service providers, people living in shelters and living outside to help the census takers out by completing the forms they ask you to. The State of Rhode Island needs to submit an accurate count of how many people are homeless.
By law, the people who work for the census cannot share any information with any other organization like the police, bill collectors, lawyers or anyone else. If they do, they can get in big trouble; they could even go to jail. The census managers go out of their way to make sure something like that doesn’t happen (they really do).
Here are the dates to remember:
On Monday, March 29, 2010:
Shelters with Sleeping Facilities.
The census takers (called enumerators) will count the people at emergency shelters. A separate Individual Census Report will be used to enumerate each person, including children.
On Tuesday, March 30, 2010:
The census takers will enumerate people at soup kitchens during the meal time.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010:
Non-Sheltered and Outdoor Locations.
Census workers will conduct a count at targeted non-sheltered, outdoor locations. This means people living in tents or out in the woods, underneath highway overpasses or bridges and other places where people live outside.
Remember too: Any money for future housing programs or employment programs for the homeless, etc., depends on how many people the state can prove are living homeless in Rhode Island. The national census is how the state does that.