Grant Hold-up Could Affect Non-Profit Groups in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Grant Hold-up Could Affect Non-Profit Groups in Hawaii

Toy Arre Toy Arre
Perfecto Vera Cruz Perfecto Vera Cruz
Governor Linda Lingle Governor Linda Lingle

By Zahid Arab

WAIPAHU (KHNL) -- One of the organizations affected by the hold-up is the Filipino Community Center, and popular programs that senior citizens rely on there.

Waipahu's Filipino Community Center is called the place to learn, laugh, and live. But similar to other organizations, trouble getting its grant funds may leave its senior program struggling for new life.

On a regular basis, almost 300 seniors stream into Waipahu's Filipino Community Center.

"They come and they share their cultures, share their ideas," said Aiea resident Perfecto Vera Cruz.

But concerns over when Governor Linda Lingle releases the rest of the $125,000 the center is allocated in grant funds may have its senior program switch to survival mode.

"This specific program will not continue if the governor will not release the money," said Toy Arre of the Filipino Community Center.

Computers to citizenship, hula aerobics to helpful tips on managing money. The center's programs are vital. The same goes for almost 70 other non-profit organizations affected by the holdup.

The Filipino Center expects $125,000, but for others the wait may be worse. Among them, Habitat for Humanity with more than $200,000, Drug Free Hawaii $175,000 and the Cord Blood Bank and the Salvation Army with around $100,000.

"If the amount of the grant is significant in relation to their total budget it could end up closing operations," said Arre.

A fate organizations like the Filipino Community Center hope to avoid, keeping its program and services to seniors flowing into the future.

Agencies don't necessarily blame Governor Lingle.

They say just like a family with a budget, it's up to the head of Hawaii to make cuts when tax revenue runs short.

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