April 1st is the day Americans will be called on to count themselves in and the effort to inform us of the importance of filling out and returning the 2010 U.S. Census forms is already in full swing. But a greater effort has been launched to reach a group of people known as the “hard to count.”

The “hard to count” includes quite a list.

“It’s anybody who feels geographically, linguistically, socially, racially isolated, anybody who feels threatened by government collecting information about them, people who are transient or homeless,” said Emily Smith of the Office of Administration’s Missouri 2010 Complete Count Committee to a seminar held for the benefit of State Senators. “Then there are those folks who just don’t understand the importance of the Census and why it’s so important to the state and to their communities.”

Part of the reach out campaign focuses on targeting areas where the “hard to count” might get the information.

“Businesses, community based and social based services – food pantries, child care centers, community health care centers – that sort of thing,” said Smith.

The information might also show up in a few other surprise locations.

“We also partnered with the Missouri Lottery Commission and we’re printing the Census message on all lottery tickets over the next three months,” said Smith. “So it’s on Powerball and Lucky Dough and I don’t know what the other ones are, but the Census message will be on those.”

Several utilities across the state have also agreed to include inserts with monthly bills sent to customers.

Social media, including Twitter and Facebook will be used to reach students – one of this country’s “hard to count” groups.

Audio: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)