PASCO, Wash.—People who work with veterans, children, the poor and the needy may be out of work come 2012. AmeriCorps, a program that provides full-time volunteer positions in the community, may get cut.
The U.S. House passed a bill that would end funds for AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Vista and other service organizations to help fill the country's budget deficit. If it passes through the Senate $47.9-million would be cut and 27,000 national volunteers would stop working in their communities.
One member who works in an elementary school says the school doesn't have enough funds to run without AmeriCorps volunteers, and it would greatly affect the students.
"He's kind of a child who would fade in the background. I think he needs that individual attention in order to blossom," says Diane Hart, AmeriCorps Volunteer.
Local volunteers also serve at the Vista Youth Center, Red Cross and Benton and Franklin Conservation Districts. The program has been in the Tri-Cities for the past 20 years, and organizers say the cut would greatly impact local social services.