By David Piestrzynski
The Review Special Writer
The Weed and Seed program has lost its funding.
But these budget cuts haven’t caused the Hamtramck Community Initiative (HCI) to give up on Uncle Sam’s help just yet.
Over the past few months, the HCI has applied for nearly $2 million in federal grants to keep the program going.
The HCI is asking for an extension through March of 2012.
“The (Weed and Seed) program lost its funding,” said Barbara Stachowski, HCI Site Director. “That doesn’t mean everything we’re doing is coming to an end.”
She said that although the organization has yet to receive a federal extension, the Hamtramck Weed and Seed program has been successful in gaining support from people throughout the country.
In the midst of submitting federal grant applications, the HCI has received many letters of support from other community leaders.
The Hamtramck Weed and Seed program’s national following also gained momentum earlier this month when 50 national Weed and Seed representatives toured the city.
“We have the most diverse city in Michigan,” Stachowski said. “There’s a lot going on here. It was good to show it.”
Originally, the Weed and Seed tour was headed through southwest Detroit, but the HCI successfully lobbied for the detour through Hamtramck.
“It was great to show that we have a united voice,” Stachowski said.
The current Weed and Seed activities, such as the Citizens Patrol and block club organizing, are doing well as the HCI heads into its next round of grant applications, she added.
If federal funding can be secured, the programs will be operated under the HCI, rather than Weed and Seed.