(Washington, D.C.) Senator Patty Murray announced today that she has secured $500,000 for El Centro de la Raza in Seattle to pay down debt related to its purchase of the Beacon Hill School. The funding is included in the fiscal year VA, HUD and Independent Agencies spending bill, which passed the Senate by a 87-8 vote. The bill will now be sent to President Clinton for his signature.

"El Centro de la Raza provides important services to Seattle's needy communities," said Murray. "These funds will help El Centro pay off debt so it can concentrate on providing additional services to the community."

El Centro de la Raza purchased the Beacon Hill School and the property it sits on from the Seattle School District. The school is now a community center operated by El Centro de la Raza. The community center provides a wide range of critical services for low-income people in the Latino/Chicano community and many other low-income individuals in the Seattle-King County area. The community center conducts tutoring classes, after school programs, and nutrition, citizenship, and financial management courses. It provides emergency shelter assistance, a food bank, meal delivery to seniors, and youth and domestic violence counseling. The center also sponsors job readiness programs and employment placement.