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February 28, 2020 | 2,827 total views

Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a national count of every person in the United States. Data from the decennial Census ensures that communities are proportionally represented in our political systems and receive their share of federal funding for vital social services, including housing, nutrition, and healthcare programs.  A full and accurate count of Los Angeles County rests on the ability for all people, regardless of housing status, to have every opportunity to participate and be counted in the 2020 Census.

Starting in late March, the Census Bureau will be conducting separate operations to reach individuals and households experiencing homelessness at locations where they may be receiving services, as well as pre-identified non-sheltered locations. If you are an interim housing operator, provide meal services, or operate a safe parking facility, you may be contacted by local Census staff in the coming weeks to schedule a site visit for one of the following operations:

  • Service Based Enumeration (SBE): From March 30 – April 1, 2020, the Census Bureau will be conducting their Service Based Enumeration at their following sites:

    • Emergency and transitional shelters

    • Soup kitchens, food banks, and mobile food vans

    • Non-sheltered outdoor locations

  • Enumeration at Transitory Locations (ETL): The Census Bureau will conduct their Enumeration at Transitory Locations (ETL) operation, from April 9 – May 4, 2020, to survey individuals and households residing in transitory housing settings, including hotels and motels and safe parking locations.

Advance Contact:

In advance of each operation, representatives from the Census Bureau’s Area Census Offices will be contacting site administrators by phone to review upcoming survey procedures, schedule a site visit, and confirm the following information:

  • Location address and point of contact

  • Maximum and expected Census Day population

  • Population gender

  • Preferred date and time of enumeration

  • Language needs, if applicable

  • Other considerations including privacy, confidentiality, and security access

Please notify the Census representative if you serve sensitive populations, including survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. Interim housing sites that serve sensitive populations are permitted to be enumerated through a confidential operation specifically designed to protect the safety and security of those being surveyed. Additionally, please note that the Census is not allowed to inquire about participants’ citizenship status. People of any and all immigration statuses are permitted and encouraged to participate in the Census.

Advance Contact Dates

Service Based Enumeration: February 3 – March 6, 2020.
Enumeration for Transitory Locations: February 24 - March 20, 2020

If you are an agency that provides interim housing, meal and safe parking services and have not been contacted by a local Census representative during the Advance Contact period – or if you have additional questions, please contact the Los Angeles Regional Census Office at larccgqetlops@uscensus.onmicrosoft.com.

Additional Census Resources

Please note that people experiencing homelessness can complete a 2020 Census survey outside of these two operations. Starting mid-March, households, regardless of their housing situation, can fill out a questionnaire online and by phone by self-reporting the location where they are or were residing on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). For more information on participating without a permanent address, please click here.

Thank you for your partnership in helping ensure a full and complete count of our communities.


Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) Through CES
LAHSA-Administered Safe Parking Sites in Los Angeles
Regional System Implementation Meetings
Problem-Solving: A Humanistic Approach to Ending Homelessness
Resources For Veterans Experiencing Homelessness