April 1, 2020
To commemorate Census Day 2020, the City of South Bend and the St. Joseph County Public Library are announcing an innovative local network of partners all working together to achieve a complete count for our community.
“The results of the Census will have an impact on federal dollars flowing to our community for the next decade,” said Mayor James Mueller. “I’m glad to join together with so many important community organizations to ensure South Bend gets counted.”
Fourteen nonprofits and community anchor institutions were selected to be South Bend Census Champions, each pledging to conduct phone and online outreach throughout April and May to help get the most accurate Census 2020 count in South Bend.
The Census directs more than $650 billion of federal funds, determines representation in Congress, and influences local research and mission-driven work for years to come. Young children, renters, and non-English speaking residents are often undercounted.
Each organization received a $2,500 award from the City to purchase equipment, upgrade Internet access, and support staff and volunteer outreach efforts. The 14 South Bend Census Champions are in or near “hard-to-count” areas from the last Census that achieved less than a 73% response rate in 2010.
“The Census has far reaching implications for our community, and it is so important that we work together as a community to achieve a complete count, especially of groups that are traditionally underrepresented,” said St. Joseph County Public Library Director Deb Futa.
In addition to announcing the local network, the City unveiled a series of public service announcements highlighting the local campaign to encourage residents to fill out the Census.
The videos include remarks from trusted voices throughout the community on different elements of the local initiative, including what makes the Census “Easy, Safe, and Important.”
“South Bend Census Champions and the St. Joseph County Public Library are already trusted voices and resources in our neighborhoods and we want to honor that expertise. Who better to advocate for a complete count?” said Denise Linn Riedl, Chief Innovation Officer.
The South Bend Census Champions are:
- Imani Unidad
- Near Northwest Neighborhood (NNN)
- West Side Small Business Resource Center
- La Casa de Amistad
- Mount Carmel MBC
- South Bend Heritage Foundation
- Saint Adalbert Catholic Church
- Kennedy Park Neighborhood Association
- LGBTQ Center
- Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church
- Vida Nueva South Bend Church of God
- Broadway Christian Parish UMC
- Cultivating Life Ministries
- Kingdom Christian Center Church
The City, SJCPL, and the partners listed above are all committed to championing the Census while adhering to social distancing recommendations during the threat of COVID-19. In-person services and advocacy activities have pivoted to be conducted online or by phone.
You can learn more about these organizations, their contact information and their efforts here.
Residents interested in learning more about the importance of the Census and local resources for the Census, should visit www.southbendin.gov/census2020.
To fill out your Census form, please visit www.2020census.gov.