Shifting census deadlines causes confusion for Lehigh Valley organizations that provide critical services

Written by on October 2, 2020

Shifting census deadlines causes confusion for Lehigh Valley organizations that provide critical services

By Genesis Ortega

October 2, 2020

Photo| Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The last day to collect responses for the census is Monday, Oct. 5. It’s the most recent date in a series of shifting deadlines. And as WLVR’s Genesis Ortega reports, it’s caused confusion for organizations that offer crucial services the census helps fund. 

Third Street Alliance provides access to child care, shelter and housing for low-income families in the valley.  

“The folks who are served by Third Street Alliance rely on a lot of programs that are funded with federal dollars, and not knowing that that is the impact of the census is difficult for folks because when then funding isn’t available, they really don’t understand how things got like that,” said Alisa Baratta, the executive director for Third Street Alliance. 

Baratta says the changes in census deadlines have made things more challenging for her staff in terms of planning and outreach to the community. 

“It’s very difficult and confusing for folks and really leads people to the conclusion that their voice really isn’t important.”

Baratta says during this final weekend to complete the census count, she and her staff will focus on a social media push and engaging people where they gather in large groups – like farmers markets and food banks.

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