Mar 14, 2010 7:18 AM by Matt Stafford

Census underway, but what about the homeless?

The 2010 census is underway. Some have already gotten their questionnaire in the mail.

The results from the census play a big role in how much federal money is given to communities across the country. If an area is under-counted, it could also be under-funded.

There's about a $400 billion dollar pie of federal money to be distributed, and Colorado Springs is sizing up a piece.

"These are questions about how we fund roads, schools and bridges, how we pay for the community services that people are going to be using," says Deborah Cameron, a national spokesperson for the 2010 census. "If people aren't counted, then Colorado Springs loses money."

Some rough estimates say Colorado Springs could pull in as much as 550 million dollars a year for the next 10 years. At least that's what Frank Stampf has heard. Stampf works with homeless families in Colorado Springs. He's been concerned about counting the homeless in the 2010 census, and now he's helping out.

"If you miss just one percent of that and you do the math, that comes out to 3 to 5 1/2 million dollars a year, or 50 million dollars over 10 years that we lose out on," explains Frank Stampf,

With the number of residents without a place to mail the survey, like the homeless, that has locals like Frank Stampf trying to make sure the federal employees get an accurate number.

"Those resources are incredibly important, particularly in today's environment," Stampf explains.

Stampf's non-profit; Partners in Housing, and several others make up the local Complete Count Committee. They point out areas where uncounted people may be living so census workers can find them.

The actual count of the homeless in Colorado Springs will take three days, running from March 29th until the 31st. Census workers will start with shelters and food distributors, then they'll check camping areas.

"We do the best we can to count every single person, regardless of where they're living," Cameron says.

The homeless numbers Colorado Springs has seen lately aren't making that easy, but locals are realizing the importance and putting in the effort to get an accurate count.

"I'm confident that this community is getting the best shot that they possibly could," Stampf says.

Stampf feels better knowing Colorado Springs residents are looking out for themselves.

If you want to know more about the census, you can visit the official website by clicking here.


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