Volume XIII, Issue XXX - March 2020

From: Danielle L. Kirby, Director
Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery


The State of Illinois is committed to getting an accurate count of Illinois' population to ensure it receives the funding it needs to adequately and effectively care for its residents and to provide critical services and programs. In 2015, Illinois received $19,738,866,367, or approximately $1,535 per capita, in federal assistance for 16 programs. The failure to count every Illinois resident would have devastating effects on Illinois' ability to meet the needs of its residents. Even a one-percent undercount would result in Illinois losing $19,557,435 per year for a decade, resulting in a total loss of $195,574,350.

The Illinois General Assembly appropriated $29 million to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to support a statewide census outreach and education effort to reach the highest self-response rate possible. Of this amount, up to $20 million was awarded through a Notice of Funding Opportunity process during FY2020. 31 intermediaries in 12 designated regions across the state will work with subrecipients, who are trusted messengers to reach Hard-to-Count communities.

The State of Illinois has allow partnered with CommunityConnect Labs to create three tools that your organization can use to help spread information and opportunities offered from the Census:

  • Text "JOBS" or "EMPLEO" to 987-987for our Field Staff Recruiter Solution. Instead of simply referring people to the US Census jobs website, the program is tailored to engage and support candidates from hard-to-count communities through the online application and hiring processes.
  • CommunityConnect Labs has developed an automated, question & answer system available via text that can receive and answer users' Census questions in English and Spanish. Simply text your questions to 987-987.
  • "Pledge to Be Counted" and receive automated reminders to ensure Census completion in 2020 by texting the following to 987-987:
    • "PLEDGE" (English), "CENSO" (Spanish), "Chinese" (Chinese (Simplified)), Arabic (Arabic), "SPIS" (Polish), or "COMPTER" (French)

It is going to take all of US working together to ensure we have full participation in the Census, every child, adult, and senior counts. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates it missed over 59,000 people in our state in 2010, which lost the state $122 million in federal health funding.

Your organization is a trusted messenger in your area, you are an integral part of the communities you serve. We ask that you help spread the word about the 2020 Census, the importance of each person being counted, when the process begins, and where community members can receive information. For more information, visit the IDHS website at http://www.census.illinois.gov.