SALISBURY, Md. – The goal of the U.S. Census is to count everyone in the United States, but some are afraid to be counted for fear of what might happen if they participate.
“When it comes to the immigrant the number one thing they are worrying about is their safety,” said Kenson Raymond, an immigration specialist at the Word of Life Church.
It is a problem well documented in the Latino community, but officials say those fears are also shared by many Haitians who do not have documentation.
“We know that there is an issue,” said Raymond.
“We know that the census is important, and we’re trying to educate the population as well to help them understand the reason behind the census,” said Raymond.
So, Wicomico County Executive Director Bob Culver and other county leaders have formed a Census Complete Count Committee to encourage more census participation within the community.
“We officially over the last couple of months have started the particular committee and he’s been working with those communities for quite some time,” said the Wicomico County Planning Director, Lori Carter.
County officials say they depend on the U.S. Census to get more funding for all sorts of programs and services.
“Senior centers, childcare centers, those that are in need of housing, the census has a direct impact,” said Carter.
“There is so much involved,” said David Daybreak, a member of the Census Complete Count Committee.
“There is so much funding that allocate toward our community that has to do with the census and that’s why we’re playing such a major role to the 2020 Census,” said Daybreak.
This community says they just hope to strengthen relationships as they continue to grow in the future.
“We just have a continuous relationship going with local officials to see how we can help you and how they can help us going forward,” said Raymond.
Wicomico County officials say they will also be working closely with nonprofits and agencies to make sure everyone gets counted.