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New $250K grant helps Cleveland nonprofits calculate hard-to-count populations for the 2020 census

Missed counts could reduce state funding
Posted at 4:19 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 16:19:10-05

CLEVELAND — A new $250,000 grant has been awarded to several non-profit organizations and foundations in Northeast Ohio to support efforts to count hard-to-count populations in Ohio for the 2020 census in an effort to keep state funding and prevent the loss of congressional seats.

The Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Cleveland Votes, and the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio are the recipients of the $250,000 grant given by The New Venture Fund. The grant supports the efforts to get an accurate count of hard-to-count (HTC) populations.

The HTC populations include five groups: immigrants, African Americans, Latin-x, children under five and their families, along with students and renters who move frequently.

According to Tracy Najera, executive director of the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio, the state receives more than $33 billion in federal funding. The state is estimated to lose around $1,200 for every person not counted each year for the next decade.

Najera says that in addition to losing funding for each person missed, an under-count on the upcoming census could mean that Ohio would lose one or two congressional seats.

Ronn Richard, president & CEO of the Cleveland Foundation, said, "this grant is critical because it will provide targeted resources to non-profits whose operations rely on federal funds to organize and mobilize around a singular goal: an accurate and complete count."

Accredited non-profit organizations working on accurate census counts in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties can apply for micro-grants.

"In Cuyahoga County, nearly three-out-of-four children under five live in a hard to count area, and Hispanic and African American children were missed twice as often as white children in the 2010 count," said David Abbott, executive director, The George Gund Foundation. “Young children are the most frequently undercounted group in the census, and we want to make sure that is not the case in Cuyahoga County and across Ohio for 2020.”

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