HONOLULU (KHON2) – Weed and Seed has been committed to fighting crime and building positive relationships in the community for decades.
The program is forced to close due to a lack of funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“It’s very difficult and heartbreaking for me to be in this predicament because we know what the needs of our community are,” said Gale Braceros, Executive Director of Weed and Seed Hawaii.
From culinary, athletic and mentoring programs, schools say it will be a loss for students without these resources.
“We brought students back to campus who were caught doing things and put them to work,” said Shayne Greenland, principal of Ewa Beach Elementary School. “It’s not about getting in trouble, it’s about fixing those issues and getting kids to make smarter choices and move on. There is no monetary value you can place on the value it brings to a community.
Honolulu District Attorney Steve Alm says Weed and Seed is working and he would hate to see it go missing.
“We are reducing crime in Chinatown, Kailihi and Palama by over 70%,” Alm said. “It was so good to have Weed and Seed coordinators. They’re kind of the glue in the middle that holds everything together.
Honolulu City Council presented a budget that would help Weed and Seed operations. These funds will not be available until July, if approved.
An emergency campaign was launched in April, but the program still needs $ 100,000 to stay afloat.
“The grants and the opportunities are great, but we need immediate funding now to continue. So I just hope the community will do it again, for us, and to help us keep it going through his generosity of donations, ”said Braceros.
Saturday May 15 will be its last day of operation.
What happens without the program is what worries people.
“It will definitely lead to more problems. There are issues right now in Chinatown, with youth gangs doing certain things and we want to end it, ”Alm said.
Weed and Seed remain optimistic and hope this won’t be their last goodbye.
To donate to the program, click here.