$200,000 investment to help protect federal funding for programs serving San Antonio’s most vulnerable populations.

The 2020 Census will affect federal funding for a decade, shaping the budgeting landscape of schools, hospitals, public transit, CHIP, Medicare, Head Start, school lunches, special education support, student financial aid and other vital programs and services. Even a 1% undercount for Texas represents a potential $300 million loss every year for a full decade.  As San Antonio grapples with one of the highest poverty rates of metropolitan cities in the nation, the 2020 Census represents the single largest data source to determine federal allocation of dollars for programs and services that support the city’s most vulnerable families. That’s why the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, is investing $200,000 in the efforts of the Complete Count Committee, which is jointly managed by the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. The Area Foundation is now the largest external funder of the Complete Count Committee. The Committee is engaging with nonprofit partners who play a crucial role in their trusted connections to vulnerable populations, who are at most risk of not completing the census. Based on an assessment of the 2020 Census impact by the Area Foundation, an inaccurate count and reduced federal funding could lead to declines in several areas of the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation’s investment focus, which includes people in need, health, youth and education and arts and culture. By helping to ensure an accurate 2020 Census count, current funding levels could be protected, and potentially increased based on population needs.  “The investment by the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation in an accurate 2020 Census count protects federal funding that is vital to our community,” said Marjie M. French, CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation. The Complete Count Committee is comprised of over 50 stakeholder organizations. The Area Foundation’s funding will support stakeholder members who can leverage their community-based trust and connections with the clients they serve. Nonprofits receiving funding include: 

  • San Antonio Food Bank – a network of 500 partner agencies would amplify the messaging and supports around the 2020 Census to vulnerable populations being served on a daily basis
  • CentroMed – convening the healthcare industry such as community health centers, hospital systems, non-profit and government health clinics, primary and behavioral health specialists and many other health entities in messaging and supports to vulnerable populations being served on a daily basis
  • CI: Now – establishing a data collection and analysis system to create a responsive real-time environment to ensure the 2020 Census is completed across vulnerable populations, by using census tract response rates
  • Health Collaborative – coordinating funds to support community-based organizations’ direct outreach efforts to provide education and conversation about the 2020 Census to hard-to-count communities to ensure as complete a count as possible

These investments will ultimately support the goal of a complete and accurate count, especially among vulnerable populations, while communicating that the Census is safe to participate in, and valuable to our community. The Area Foundation is building capacity in our trusted nonprofit partners, mobilizing the community, and generating knowledge using data and tools to make informed decisions in optimizing outreach efforts. The Census day will begin April 1 and everyone is encouraged to complete the Census to ensure that we receive an adequate distribution of resources and representation of our community.