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      Hearings for non-profit organizations

      Blas Cantu and several other local non-profit organization directors had just a few minutes to express the need for funding for their respective programs. Their plea for assistance was noted by a group consisting of representatives from state agencies, non profit organizations, academia and other foundations who have come together to form the Task Force.

      Cantu says, "It was wonderful to have them here. Most of us don't have the funds to find the members of the Task Force." Cantu informed the Task Force about the Harlingen Housing Authority's proposal for a program which would provide micro-lending to attendants so they can establish a credit rating to eventually become first time homebuyers. Great idea, but no funds to move it.

      Cantu says, "Given the current economic situation, everybody's hurting because we can't get the base funding." That's why local non-profits are banking on the Task Force to let the Texas Legislature know about their needs now and in the future. UTPA's Southwest Border Non-Profit Resource Center representatives also gave their two cents.Lucila Lagace says, We know there are lots more needs in Cameron County and surrounding counties, and not just a year, how are we gonna meet the needs in the long term?"

      Chris Bugbee with the Onestar foundation says "we heard a lot today about transportation, funding, access to training and capacity building. They're prepared, passionate about what they do. It TMs hard to get access to help for what they need." Cantu and the other non-profit representatives say when you're at square one you'll take any assistance you can get.