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Project Amistad: Cuts Would be Devastating

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POSTED: Monday, February 28, 2011 - 7:07pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 5:57pm

EL PASO – As Texas lawmakers mull massive budget cuts, low-income people in El Paso are keeping a close watch. That's because fewer dollars could be devastating for those who rely on state-funded programs, to get around.

LULAC Project Amistad provides transportation services to medicaid patients who are elderly or disabled. Although the non-profit organization doesn't know how much funding they could lose through the state, they maintain that any loss will impact their clients.

Amistad helps Medicaid-qualified people who don't have a means of getting around El Paso. Using buses, they bring some people to their medical appointments, job interviews, or help others run basic errands.

Amistad's CEO, Xavier Banales, said the agency transports up to 400 people a day. The agency mostly relies on state grants, so cuts would immediately be felt by the people they serve.

“It's possible that with the decreases that it could be devastating to some of our individuals that we transport. We transport individuals who are low-income...many of them are on social security,” said Banales.

One example of that is 67-year-old Jesus Anchondo, who uses Amistad's bus services three times a week to get to his dialysis treatments.

“...Cuts would impact me. Some of us that use crutches...are sick and dizzy after dialysis treatment,” said Anchondo.

Banales said folks on a wheelchair would especially be affected.

“...To go shopping, to buy food, to go to the pharmacy, to get medication...for an able-bodied person, that's normal...but for a person who is wheelchair-bound, it's a challenge,” added Banales.

If the agency has fewer funds to work with, it may reduce the frequency of their transportation services, or even the areas they serve. In the meantime, Banales said the agency is trying to rely on fund-raising to offset potential cuts, but he acknowledged there is a problem with that.

“It's a very hard area to hit because all the non-profit agencies in El Paso are doing the same thing,” stated Banales.

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Maybe now LULAC will see the drain the illegals have on our economy when it comes to goverment funding in the U.S.

Funny how taxes work LULAC. Who knew that taxes help fund you and your project amistad that is fighting for those who don't pay back into the very system that gives you hand-outs to keep your lights on.

The state cannot withstand any more free handouts.If you are non-profit, do not expect any help from the state. Ask the unions that take most of the budget to keep running. Ask the teachers union for assistance. They seem to be on the winning side. They get 40% of the budget to teach our kids how to like themselves instead of reading, writing and aritmetic. No use in asking LULAc for help, they only want to have most of the southwest be given back to mejico,or ask the welfare maidens.

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