OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)- The 2020 census is just around the corner and an endless array of everyday functions are based on the census numbers in your area.
From new grocery stores to congressional representation in our nation’s capitol, the most accurate count means everything.
Individuals across West Virginia have the ability to participate in the decadal census by phone, paper, and online. By mid march 2020, 95% of the population will be invited to take part.
We have to make sure that for the schools and for our services that we’re really being represented and counted to do everything we can to serve them in the best way.Claudia Raymer, Executive Director, Ohio County Family Resource Network
But what about the impacted groups? The impoverished, disabled, and those afflicted with substance abuse, and even children under 5 years old are often the most difficult to count.
It’s very intimidating sometimes to give the census information, but it’s completely confidential. We really need to get counted because we’re at risk for losing thousands and thousands of dollars every year in the state of West Virginia that doesn’t count themselves in the census so like their SNAP benefits, their WICK benefits, our roads, our education funding for Title 1 schools, almost everything you talk about is affected by the census numbers.Amy Hutchison, West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Organizer
Some members of the community will play more of a vital role in making this work.
People who are working in food pantries, who are working in the child welfare system, the clergy, the religious community, all of these types of people it’s so important for them to deliver this message.Claudia Raymer, Executive Director, Ohio County Family Resource Network
It’s important to talk about the census. There are 101 reasons why people, especially impacted and marginalized folks, don’t want to fill it out, but we have 102 reasons why we absolutely have to, so West Virginia that is at risk of losing all of this federal money that would be detrimental to so many members of our society.Amy Hutchison, West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Organizer
West Virginia is potentially at risk of losing a congressional seat this round based on the population. More than $2,500 is lost for every resident, every year, who doesn’t get counted on the census.