News Briefs: Census workers reach out to Denver’s fringe communities

Published January 2010 Vol. 14 Issue 1

The U.S. Census Bureau is making efforts to reach out to the Denver Metro Area’s immigrant and homeless populations, hoping to encourage these groups to participate in the 2010 census, which will begin in March. Since census numbers determine everything from funding for schools and social programs to how many seats each state will get in the House of Representatives, it is important to include new immigrants and other groups traditionally wary of government in the census count.

The Census Bureau is using many avenues to dispel any fear people might have of working with them. Some Spanish-speaking radio stations, for example, will begin airing folk songs about the census. Telemundo has partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau to add a Census Bureau recruiter character to Mas Sabe El Diablo (The Devil Knows Best), one of the station’s most popular soap operas. The Census Bureau is also looking for interpreters that speak the languages of Bhutan, Burma and Somalia to help immigrants fill out census forms.

Census workers are also hoping to reach more of Denver’s homeless population this year. Officials began working a year ago with various homeless outreach programs to identify street hangouts. The workers will also be canvassing hotels and motels in an effort to connect with as many homeless citizens as they can.

-- Sarah Harvey