Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $1.5 million for PILLAR to Fight Alcohol Abuse

Program will assist communities to combat alcohol abuse among youth

Washington, D.C. | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), October 4, 2019

Laredo, TX- Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $1.5 million in funding to the People with Ideas of Love, Liberty, Acceptance, and Respect (PILLAR) organization in Laredo, TX. Over the next five years, PILLAR will receive $300,000 annually from the Department of Health and Human Services towards their Communities in Motion project that will work to combat alcohol abuse among children and young adults. The project will use community driven efforts to combat alcohol abuse, and address behavioral health disparities among 32,400 primarily Hispanic youth.

“Alcohol addiction is a major problem in communities across the country. One in eight Americans, about 12.7 percent of the population, meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder,” said Congressman Cuellar. “It is my top priority to promote the safety, wellness, and prosperity of the people in my community and across the nation. These funds will be used to build community-based programs that help children and young adults understand the dangers of alcohol abuse. It is critical that educational outreach is available to all communities to properly address this issue.”

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fund programs that work to solve the problem of alcohol abuse in our country.  I want to thank the Co-Founders of PILLAR Arturo Diaz, Jr. and Manuel Sanchez, as well as the rest of the staff for their tireless efforts to educate our community and support those with alcohol addiction.”

Co-Founder of PILLAR Arturo Diaz said, "PILLAR is very thankful to Honorable Congressman Henry Cuellar for helping us secure another SAMSHA grant. I am proud to say that PILLAR is responsive, agile and alert and has programs that deal directly with the most marginalized, stigmatized and unheard victims. Now with these funds, PILLAR will be able to continue to improve the quality of life among youths in our region. The funds for this project are aimed to deter alcohol consumption behavior before its starts, if drinking is delayed until age 21 years, the risk of serious alcohol problems decreases by 70%.  This project will definitely help improve the quality of life for many of our youths in Laredo”