Written by: Director Robert Groves
I visited various neighborhoods in Philadelphia yesterday, examining housing situations that cause us problems in listing different units and assuring that each gets a census questionnaire. Some areas were row houses, probably originally intended as single-family homes that had been subdivided into multiple units. Some of the entrances of the secondary units were off the street and not visible to someone walking down the sidewalk.
We know that some such structures have single mailboxes and informal arrangements among residents to sort out the mail for the two or more families. It’s a challenge to make sure each household gets their own questionnaire and that all persons are correctly counted. We have methods to get questionnaires to everyone, but some depend more on the initiative of the household than others.
Our antidote for such situations relies both on the training of our staff and the outreach efforts of partners within those neighborhoods. We need their help.