Ahead of the self-response period starting in mid-March, the U.S. Census Bureau is contacting group living facilities across the nation ahead of the 2020 Census to ensure accurate counts of individuals living or staying in a group living arrangements. In April, Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
Called the Group Quarters Operation, the living centers targeted include: college and university student housing; residential treatment centers; military barracks; nursing and skilled care centers; group homes; and correctional facilities.
The Group Quarters Advance Contact Operation, which began Feb. 3 and continues through March 6, helps the Census Bureau identify administrators who can assist in counting those living in their group quarters facilities.
During the Group Quarters Operation, the Census Bureau collects information specific to service-based locations serving people experiencing homelessness. Known as the Service-Based Enumeration operation, these locations include: soup kitchens; emergency and transition shelters; regularly scheduled mobile food vans; outdoor and other places where people are known to sleep.
Related to this, local governments like Travis County are even using federal and other grant funding to better conduct outreach to populations experiencing homelessness: