Before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, the United States was ramping up its biggest peacetime mobilization: the Census. A complete count of all people in the nation is taken every 10 years, but this year, the shelter-in-place and social distancing orders to curb the spread of COVID-19 have forced the Census Bureau to adapt its timeline for the count.
The 2010 Census may address an old problem in dealing with San Francisco’s homeless population by getting an accurate head count. The city’s homeless figures have ranged between about 6,500 and 8,600 people in the last decade, but the real number is anybody’s guess. The sketchy knowledge of who is living on the street has been a big impediment to perennial attempts to solve the crisis.
As the U.S. Census Bureau gears up for the 2010 count, it has made a significant change in how it engages immigrants — this is causing some city officials concern that San Francisco may lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding, which in turn may lead to distorted electoral representation.