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Grant Will Support Census Texting Campaign by East Cleveland Group

Census image
U.S. Census
Non-profits in Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Lake Counties have received more than $150,000 in microgrants toward census outreach since March. The next round for grants opens next month.

Residents in East Cleveland may soon be getting a text message encouraging them to complete the census. The effort is being funded by a grant aimed at making sure people complete the census—especially those considered hard-to-reach.

The grants have been focused on community groups reaching out to immigrants, African-Americans, and Latinx populations, as well as students, renters and people who are transient.

Juan Galeano is a project consultant on the census for the Cleveland Foundation. He says Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope has received $5,000, which it will use to send text messages to East Clevelanders encouraging them to complete the census.

“The digital divide is a problem in Cleveland and East Cleveland; there’s not the best internet service there. Sending folks text messages that have the census number that people can call to fill it out – that’s a very practical solution.”

He adds that this is even more important amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Who would have guessed this pandemic would happen? If that wasn’t available, we would probably be even more behind. Smartphones do help in some places – that’s really the main source of internet connection that many people have.”

Since March, about $150,000 has gone to non-profit groups working on the census in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.

For more information on applying for the next round of grants, contact Juan Galeano at jgaleano@clevefdn.org, or find more information at CompleteCount.org.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.