Census 2020 Spotlight

February 20, 2020

As the Census 2020 approaches, funders, community organizations and individuals are looking for ways to become involved in ensuring a complete and accurate count. A complete count is critical for the state of Missouri, as we will lose approximately $1,300 in federal funds a year, for each individual not counted. That equates to $13,000 per person, from census year to census year (10 year period), directly impacting public services, state representation in Congress, and the drawing of congressional district boundaries. 

In alignment with our mission to serve the poor and the vulnerable, the Marillac Mission Fund is supporting Census 2020 efforts, as several of the “hard-to-count” communities fall within our focus areas of older adults and immigrants & refugees. Historically, the “hard-to-count” communities include: older adults, non-english speaking individuals, low income individuals, renters, young children, immigrants and refugees, communities of color and LGBTQAI+ identifying individuals. In recognizing these “hard-to-count” communities, we are faced with the reality that these communities and individuals are not truly hard to count, but that our social and political systems have been designed to exclude. For example, today’s political climate and prior debates regarding the addition of a citizenship question to the census, has created an environment of fear and disconnect for our immigrant and refugee neighbors and friends. 

In order to combat the historic exclusion of vulnerable populations from completing the census, a funders collaborative was formed to support community organizations that regularly touch vulnerable populations in the St. Louis region. The Marillac Mission Fund is supporting the Census 2020 by participating in The St. Louis Census Funders Group; working collaboratively to coordinate support for an accurate and representative count of the St. Louis region. The organizations awarded grant funding through the St. Louis Census Funders Group are seeking to promote inclusion in this census count through a variety of innovative and intentional activities. As a result of MMF’s participation in the Funders Group, we learned about a variety of initiatives and had the opportunity to develop new relationships. Therefore, with the  support from MMF, the Meramec Regional Planning Commission is planning to promote a complete count in one of the hardest to count areas in Missouri, Washington County. Washington County is considered low income with an estimated 20.2% of people living in poverty between 2013-2017. Funding will be used to support efforts targeting low income individuals with the intention to break down barriers to access, and support Washington County community members in accurately completing the census. 

For more information regarding the Census 2020 please refer to: https://mffh.org/our-focus/census-2020/