Equalitech executive director Danny Fitzgibbons and staff member Teresa Melgoza outside the Goleta Valley Tech Center.

Equalitech executive director Danny Fitzgibbons and staff member Teresa Melgoza outside the Goleta Valley Tech Center. (Courtesy photo)

With the 2020 Census deadline to respond just 29 days away on Sept. 30, Equalitech has opened its doors to help people who don’t have internet access complete their census.

Every Wednesday in September, from 3-7 p.m., community members can go to computer stations at Equalitech, located at the back of the Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave., and use the internet to complete their census. Bilingual staff will be on hand to answer questions.

As of Sept. 2, roughly 25% of Goleta households have not responded to the census. Not getting a complete count could result in a loss of millions of dollars in state and federal funding over the next 10 years.

Equalitech executive director Danny Fitzgibbons said he and his bilingual staff are happy to help the cause.

“Equalitech understands that tech accessibility and literacy is more important than ever as we all try to navigate these turbulent times,” he said. “The census is yet another disparity revealed by COVID-19 and we just want to do what we can to bridge the divide.”

Equalitech’s mission is to remove barriers to learning, career opportunities and life skills by expanding free access to technology and education.

Fitzgibbons, a certificated tutor for the Goleta Union School District, founded Equalitech in 2017 after becoming aware of the learning gap that begins to develop between students with access to technology and those without it.

The city of Goleta urges residents who have not completed their census to take advantage of this opportunity to use Equalitech computers. Remember to wear a mask and stay six feet apart. COVID-19 Health Guidelines will be followed.

For those with internet access, the census can be completed online at My2020Cenus.gov, or call 844-330-2020.

To snag some Make Goleta Count swag, come to the Camino Real Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13., and look for the large California Census digital truck in the parking lot.

Learn more about the 2020 Census at www.CityofGoleta.org/Census2020. The city of Goleta is part of the Complete Count Committee, which is working together to make sure everyone counts in Santa Barbara County.