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Root beer float count

May 05 2010
LA shelter residents get an unusual incentive to register their details
In an attempt to entice homeless people staying in emergency shelters in Los Angeles to register their details for the latest census, the US Census Bureau recently offered free root beer floats, something like Dr Pepper with a scoop of ice cream added, to those who came forward to give their details, reports The Examiner.

The tactic was adopted due to the difficulty in reaching enough homeless people to tally within the 24-hour time span. Many people living in shelters are busy looking for employment or taking part in social service programmes, reports The Examiner, and are therefore difficult to track.

"It's hard to get everyone together because they are busy getting their lives in order," said Mary Leasure, Program Director for People Assisting The Homeless, the largest homeless programme in Hollywood. "So we offered root beer floats to everyone who turned in a completed census form. It worked." Other participation incentives being trialled Stateside include giving out free socks.