Are you Ready for the 2020 Census?

Why is the Census Important?

Every 10 years, the Census is required to count every single person in the United States, but, people without conventional housing and people experiencing homelessness are at risk of being undercounted. This is important because data gathered from the Census is used to determine the distribution of billions of dollars in funding each year, including affordable housing, food assistance programs, shelters, and other homeless services.

How are People Experiencing Homelessness Counted?

People experiencing homelessness can be counted in a variety of ways including through the phone, online, at Group Quarters (GQ) like hospitals and jails, Transitory Locations (TL) like hotels and RV parks, and through Service-Based Locations (SBL) like emergency and transitional shelters, soup kitchens, and food vans. Please note that there are currently delays on in-person enumeration due to COVID-19. The Census Bureau is encouraging people to get counted online or through the phone and is exploring other options. Check the Recent Updates section for the latest updates.


The U.S. Census Bureau has announced the new schedule for counting people experiencing homelessness in the 2020 Census is going to be between September 22 and 24. The operation was originally scheduled for March 30, March 31 and April 1, but health and safety concerns with COVID-19 resulted in delays to activities.


Service-Based Enumeration (soup kitchens, shelters, drop-in centers, and regularly scheduled food vans) and the counting of people in encampments and other outdoor locations is once again being delayed. An updated date hasn't been released yet, but this website will be updated when the information is released. View the Census press release here.

Recent Updates

Get Counted by Phone

Phone lines in English and Spanish are open every day from 4am to 11pm Pacific Time. Non-English and Non-Spanish lines available from 5am to 7pm. To begin, call 844-330-2020, or call the number associated with your preferred language, including Telecommunication Device for the Deaf, here

Get Counted Online

You can respond to the 2020 Census by visiting the online questionnaire at When completing the survey online, a Census ID number will be requested. If you do not have a Census ID, simply select the link under the login button that says, “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.” Additional languages can be found here

Homebase Outreach Materials

Help us spread the word about the upcoming Census to people experiencing homelessness and homeless service providers in your community.

Get Counted: Client Facing

This one-page flyer provides an overview  the different ways people experiencing homelessness can be counted in the upcoming census. 

Not seeing what you need here or have a question about how people experiencing homelessness will be counted? Contact our team at


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