Community Groups Fight Cuts To TANF-Funded Programs

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Community groups providing services to low-income families and at-risk youth across the state say any funding cuts imposed by the Legislature would be devastating.

Hundreds of people took part in a rally at the State Capitol Wednesday morning. They're involved in programs that help families move off welfare, help teens avoid substance abuse, and help prevent domestic violence.

They say lawmakers are considering diverting up to $27 million in federal money away from their programs and into a reserve fund.

"If we do lose some of the funding, we might lose some of the participants on the service level side, so our service level wouldn't be as high as it is right now," Lehua Kaauwai-Krueger, About Face Program, said. "So hopefully, they reconsider, yeah, and think we have been very successful."

The federal funding is called TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The state Department of Human Services says it also opposes the proposed cuts.