Beyond providing a robust service model in the areas of housing stability, education, and health and wellness, we also encourage residents to be active, engaged members of the community.
This year, the 2020 Census is a key initiative within our communities. Aside from the critical funding and federal programs that rely on an accurate Census count, it’s important our residents understand their representation in the community at-large matters.
Historically, young children, non-English speakers, and low-income persons are among the list of hard-to-count populations (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019). By educating our residents about the importance of completing the U.S. Census, we hope to empower them to contribute to civic life and ensure representation of those hardest to reach.
This month, with the help of a Census Mini Grant from ACT for Alexandria, Wesley Housing’s ParcView Apartments hosted a Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) pop-up event in partnership with the Census Bureau to break the barriers of participation, helping numerous households complete the Census.
Using the grant award, Wesley Housing purchased $50 gift cards to incentivize residents to participate.
The Census Bureau’s MQA unit was on site to provide the tools and resources for residents who may not have internet access and need to complete a physical form, are not native English speakers and need help understanding what questions are asked, or are worried about how the data is used and need to be reassured about their privacy or status.
As a Census Mini Grant recipient, Wesley Housing is grateful to be part of the regional Census initiative.
“The importance of the 2020 Census is not just about the flow of federal dollars; we see our work to ensure a complete count as an expression of our commitment to racial equity,” ACT for Alexandria reported. “It’s about ensuring that we are an inclusive community that values everyone who lives here; that everyone is counted and seen as an Alexandrian.”