Census takers to start visiting local households

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COLUMBIA - The U.S. Census Bureau has announced that census takers will start to go to households who have not taken the 2020 Census. 

In a press release, from the City of Columbia, officials said that Boone County is part of Kansas City’s census office and that census takers started to visit households on July 16.

Sara Humm, Columbia’s community relations specialist said that census takers are taking extra precautions for safety because of COVID-19.

“All the census takers are required to take a COVID training to make sure they understand things like social distancing and other good health practices,” said Humm. “In addition to that, they are also following local health guidelines, so for us in Columbia that means wearing a mask.”

Census takers can be identified by an easy to read, valid government ID badge, with their picture attached to it and if there are any problems you can call a Census Bureau representative at 312.579.1500. 

Taking the census is also very important for local nonprofits and businesses in the area.

Nick Foster, the executive director of the Voluntary Action Center (VAC), a nonprofit social service agency in Columbia and Boone County, said taking the census is critical to help fund different social services.

“A lot of the money that we’ve been receiving lately and that has been awarded to us recently is for housing,” said Foster. “Which of course right now is a huge need and a lot of those decisions about how much money goes into particular areas to address that need as well as for the other needs that we face is dependent on the population of a particular area.”

Humm also said that the Census is important because it helps the economy and job growth.

“The census is also important because it helps us track our population growth and when we see what businesses look at as far as where they’re going to build a new store or where they’re going to bring new jobs a lot of them look at census data to see what areas are growing and where they might build a new store, a new restaurant,” said Humm.

In addition to nonprofits and businesses, taking the census impacts how much funding from the government goes to local hospitals, healthcare, road repairs, food services, and many other social agencies.

To fill out the census you can go online at my2020census.gov, call 844.330.2020, or by filling out and mailing back the paper form.