Possible federal funding cuts could hit community services

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - An area organization that helps tens of thousands of Panhandle residents with utilities, housing and transportation could be paralyzed by possible federal funding cuts.

The Community Services Block Grant or CSBG is federal funding that allows organizations like Panhandle Community Services to operate.

However,  with talks of the money being frozen to help cover our nation's budget deficit, those services are in jeopardy of not being fully functional.

If the funding is frozen, more than 600 thousand dollars will be wiped away from Panhandle Community Services.

Administrators tell NewsChannel 10, without those funds, there wont be staff or supplies to help tens of thousands of area residents with utilities, housing, and transportation.

They say the cuts would domino into devastation.

"If you are on HUD, and you don't pay utilities, you lose your rental assistance. Without the money I wont have the staff to help people get to self sufficiency. It's a snowball. People think 'oh, its just 600 thousand', that right there, keeps us alive." said Panhandle Community Services executive director, Phyllis Cook.

According to Cook, the organization is already operating at bare bones. Administrators are in the process of writing letters to lawmakers, in hopes the budget does not continue to shrink.

Congressman Mac Thornberry tells NewsChannel 10, about the possible cuts, "There is no doubt that the federal government has been on a spending spree that cannot continue.  Deciding exactly which programs are reduced by what amount will be the work of the next several months."