Two growing populations in Central New York, new Americans and the elderly, are also typically undercounted in the census. The amount of federal dollars the area will receive depends on an accurate count of these populations.
A census-designated kiosk that will be installed at Interfaith Works is meant to create greater access to the first digitally focused census and ease fears about the process.
The kiosk is a partnership between Interfaith Works and the Central New York Community Foundation. The CNY Community Foundation has been focusing on census efforts for months now, especially concerning hard to count populations.
The populations the census bureau has determined are hard to count face challenges when it comes to filling out the census. For some it may be general distrust in government or confusion about the process. For others it may be lack of access to the internet or poor literacy skills. But for many, it’s a combination of these.
As we get closer to the first round of census forms being sent out, Central New York is trying to find ways to overcome those barriers to get the most accurate population count possible. Interfaith Work’s Abdul Saboor says the kiosk will allow their staff to assist in the process for those uncomfortable with the census or the technology.
“Learning computers for someone who has never had computers in their life, let alone electricity for that matter, is that unknown,” said Saboor. “That zone of unknown when you get into an uncomfortable environment when you have to go back to the ABCs. Because they’ve never had it in their lives.”
After the census is taken, the kiosk will be converted to accommodate some of Interfaith Works’ other programs, such as financial literacy and employment.