Chicago awards $700,000 in grants to boost 2020 Census participation rates

United States Census 2020

The city of Chicago has announced $700,000 in grant funding to boost the city’s education and engagement efforts ahead of the upcoming 2020 US Census.

According to the city, the grants will be used to “support targeted community outreach and other initiatives to help increase Census participation for hard-to-count communities.”

Where is the funding coming from?

The city contributed $500,000 toward the community outreach effort. Meanwhile, Uber provided an additional $100,000, the Illinois Department of Aging contributed $75,000, and the McCormick Foundation contributed $25,000.

What will the grants achieve?

Awardees are expected to use grant dollars to encourage city residents to participate in the all-important once-in-a-decade headcount of every man, woman, and child in the United States. The grants will be used to organize community events, social media campaigns, accessible materials, and other on-the-ground outreach designed to build awareness and activate Chicago residents to complete the 2020 Census.

The Census is used to determine Congressional representation along with the number of electoral votes in each state. The population counts in each state are also important in determining how much federal funds will be distributed to each state.

“Achieving a full and fair count in the upcoming census is critical to determining the necessary federal funding levels for our city, appropriate representation in Congress, and securing the continued strength of our regional economy,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“These grants stand as a vital tool to supporting Chicago’s many passionate and committed community partners who will be on the ground and working hard to include all our residents in this important process, and ensuring every voice is heard, felt and accounted for,” Lightfoot added.

It’s estimated that nearly half of Chicago’s 2.7 million residents are considered “hard-to-count” by the US Census Bureau. According to the city, this includes “families of color, children under five, the elderly, veterans, returning residents, individuals with high rates of mobility and housing instability, residents with disabilities, those with limited access to the Internet, and those who may be afraid to participate.”

Which organizations were awarded a grant?

A list of organizations that received funding, along with their respective communities served, can be found below:

Center for Changing LivesHumboldt Park
Center on HalstedCitywide
Chicago VeteransCitywide
Claretian AssociatesSouth Chicago
Community Organizing and Family IssuesHumboldt Park, Englewood
Faith in PlaceNorth Lawndale, Englewood
Fathers Who CareWest Garfield, East Garfield
Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp.Englewood
Hanul Family AllianceCitywide
I AM ABLE Center for Family Development Inc.North Lawndale
Institute for Positive LivingWashington Park
Japanese American Service CommitteeAsian American Community
Latin United Community Housing AssociationLower West Side, West Englewood
Leave No Veteran BehindCitywide
Metropolitan Tenants OrganizationLower West Side, South Chicago
Midwest Asian Health AssociationCitywide
Muslim Community IncCitywide
Northwest Side Housing CenterCitywide
Peace and Education CoalitionNew City
Puerto Rican Cultural CenterHumboldt Park
Red Clay Dance CompanyFuller Park, Englewood
Resident Association of Greater EnglewoodEnglewood, West Englewood
Samuel DeWitt Proctor ConferenceWest Garfield, New City, Washington Park
Sinai Community InstituteHumboldt Park, North Lawndale, South Lawndale
South Asian American Policy and Research InstituteCitywide
Spanish Coalition for HousingLower West Side, South Chicago
St. Paul ChurchLower West Side
STM Reader LLC (The Chicago Reader)Citywide
Teamwork EnglewoodEnglewood, West Englewood
United African OrganizationCitywide
Westside Health AuthorityWest Garfield, East Garfield
Workers Center for Racial Justice NFPCitywide

To learn more about the City’s 2020 Census efforts, please visit

Photo Credit: US Census Bureau

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