Friday, 25 September 2020 15:42

Oklahoma could miss out on critical funding for Oklahoma families and communities Featured

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Press Release

U.S. Census deadline just days away

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 25, 2020) -- Oklahomans only have a few more days to complete the 2020 U.S. Census. The Census is taken every 10 years, and the results will inform how trillions of dollars are allocated to programs like Medicare, Head Start and various foster care and adoption programs. With the Sept. 30 deadline quickly approaching, Oklahoma still lags behind other states in regards to overall Census response.

To raise awareness of the importance of completing the Census, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) is sharing how the Census results affect Oklahomans of all ages.

“The Census affects all of us and will have lasting effects on our communities over the next 10 years,” said Justin Brown, OKDHS Director and Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Initiatives. “We have until Sept. 30 to decide whether our efforts will benefit Oklahoma’s communities or keep them from receiving the resources they need to adequately support their people and programs.”

Our kids rely on Census funding. OKDHS receives and administers the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) from Census funding. This grant helps low-income parents pay for high-quality, licensed child care so they can work and/or complete their education or employment training. From 2018 to 2019, OKDHS provided more than $140 million in funding to Oklahoma families for child care help.

Food assistance funding comes from the Census.Oklahoma’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) distributed more than $840 million in food assistance last fiscal year to over 378,000 Oklahoma families.

The Census affects our seniors, too. Census data is also used to allocate funding to support the Advantage waiver program. This initiative provides case management, home-making services, home-delivered meals and medical prescription assistance to aging Oklahomans. In 2018, the program provided more than 3.4 million hours of personal care services and over 2.8 million home-delivered meals to older Oklahomans.

“Important funding decisions will be made based on Oklahoma’s Census participation, including those surrounding our schools, roads and services for children and older Oklahomans,” added Brown. “And, it actually pays to be counted in the Census, as the state misses out on an estimated $1,675 per person per household that does not fill out the form.”

You can fill out the Census at okletscount.org or by calling 844-330-2020. Or, complete the 10-minute form in-person at the Oklahoma City Thunder voter registration drive at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sept. 26 or at select Supermercado Morales grocery stores in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

About Oklahoma Human Services

Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) is responsible for providing help to individuals and families in need through public assistance programs and managing services for seniors and people with disabilities. For more information about OKDHS, visitwww.okdhs.org.

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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