Texas Communities Count

As part of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health’s 80th Anniversary initiative, the foundation will award a total of $2.1 million in grant funds to a total of 28 organizations to support complete count efforts in Texas for the 2020 U.S. Census.  The goal is to encourage participation in the 2020 Census so that every person in Texas is counted.

Twenty-eight organizations were awarded amounts from $7,000-$125,0000 to reach traditionally hard-to-count (HTC) populations, communities and geographic areas throughout the state.  A separate grant was awarded to the Center for Public Policy Priorities to provide a learning community structure for the twenty-six organizations receiving an award.

The foundation will also join Communities Foundation of Texas and other funders to participate in a statewide Texas Counts Pooled Fund to support additional funding for local communities’ outreach efforts.

Current Grantees


LOCAL AND REGIONAL

  • City of Corsicana (Corsicana)
  • City of Plainview (Plainview)
  • City of Socorro (Socorro)
  • Community Action Corporation of South Texas (Alice)
  • Community Foundations of Texas (Dallas)
  • Deep East Texas Council of Governments (Jasper)
  • El Paso Coalition for the Homeless (El Paso)
  • Galveston County Food Bank (Texas City)
  • Housing Authority of the City of Austin (Austin)
  • International Rescue Committee – Abilene(Abilene)
  • International Rescue Committee – Dallas (Dallas)
  • McCabe Roberts Avenue United Methodist Church (Beaumont)
  • Montrose Center (Houston)
  • Project Vida Health Center (El Paso)
  • Rural Economic Assistance League, Inc. (Alice)
  • Rio Grande Council of Governments (El Paso)
  • Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network (Brownsville)
  • Southwest Area Regional Transit (Uvalde)
  • Tarleton State University (Stephenville)
  • Texas Association of Community Development Corporations (Austin)
  • The Health Collaborative (San Antonio)
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (Houston)

STATEWIDE


Background

Every 10 years since 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the nation. An accurate and complete census is necessary to determine fair allocation of federal dollars for resources, services and infrastructure that support our everyday quality of life. The census determines the allocation of congressional districts and redistricting boundaries for every level of government; helps schools, transportation and healthcare industries plan; and supports business decisions on economic investment, expansions and where to locate jobs. The census also impacts the formula used to determine the federal government’s share of Texas Medicaid costs. Without a complete count during the 2020 Census, Texas will face unprecedented challenges, losing both resources and representation for at least a decade.

Approximately 93 percent of the 254 counties in Texas are designated as health professional shortage areas (HPSA). This designation supports communities that lack access to primary care and mental health professionals by offering incentives to attract health care workers. Currently, there are more than 30 federal and state programs which use the HPSA designation to determine eligibility. A study by George Washington University (GWU) indicated Texas receives $59.4 billion dollars per year through 55 federal programs that support key social safety net programs. Additionally, the report indicated our state is at risk of losing an estimated $291 million of federal funding per year if there were to be an undercount of our state’s residents.

In particular, hard-to-count (HTC) communities—persons who typically do not get captured by census data—stand the most to lose from an inaccurate count. According to the GWU study, an undercount in HTC communities means a loss of approximately $1,161 per excluded person every year. That’s $11,610 over a 10-year period for every resident not counted.

The Census Bureau’s research identifies the following populations as HTC communities:

  • Young children under the age of five
  • Highly mobile people
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Non-English speakers
  • Low-income people
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • People who distrust the government
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons
  • People with mental or physical disabilities
  • People who do not live in traditional housing

 

Questions: Contact Crystal Viagran, Director of Finance & Operations, or Emily Bhandari, Strategic Learning and Evaluation Program Officer

Resources

Census Basics

2020 Census Key Dates
The U.S. Census Bureau has provided this timeline of key dates related to the 2020 Census.

2020 Census Partner Materials
The U.S. Census Bureau has provided an extensive list of resources related to the 2020 Census.

League of Women Voters Census Page
This page contains the League of Women Voters Census Toolkit and other helpful resources.

Texas Demographic Center Census Website
The Texas Demographic Center provides an overview of what the 2020 Census means for Texas.

Complete Count Committee Resources

2020 Census Complete Count Committee Guide
An overview guide to Complete County Committees by the U.S. Census Bureau.

2020 Census Complete Count Committees Map
The U.S. Census Bureau has provided a useful visualization of Complete Count Committees in the United States.

Resources for Historically Underserved Communities

2020 Census Language Resources
The U.S. Census Bureau has provided a list of non-English language resources.

Color of Change Rapid Response Toolkit
Color of Change has provided a census toolkit for African American communities.

Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights Census Fact Sheets
The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights has created a series of 2020 Census fact sheets for communities of color and historically underserved communities.

National Association of Latino Elected Officials Census Website
This website provides an extensive compilation of resources and information about the 2020 Census that is geared toward Latino communities in the U.S.