belt 032019 2SPRINGFIELD – To ensure a complete count of Illinois residents in the upcoming census, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) hosted an informational event regarding the 2020 Census at East St. Louis Community College Center on Wednesday.

"One way to reach hard-to-count areas is to inform residents about the importance of being counted," Belt said. "Most people are not aware that if they are not counted, millions of dollars in funding for our schools and hospitals is at risk."

Belt partnered with State Representative Latoya Greenwood and the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to host the event.

DHS discussed how the census will impact the community and how residents can make sure family and friends are counted. They also explained the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA).

GATA makes it easier for prospective grant applicants to get information on the state’s selection of grant recipients and use of grant funds.

"I was glad to give residents the opportunity to learn more about how the state awards grants at this event,” Belt said. “Small businesses were able to get insight into how to apply for additional support to help their business succeed."