Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $1,000,000 to Break Stigma of Mental Health, Substance Abuse in Laredo

Grant will also fund increased HIV and Hepatitis-C testing opportunities for those most at-risk

Washington | Dana Youngentob, DC Press Secretary (202-340-9148), September 1, 2021

Laredo, TX – Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $1,000,000 in federal funds to People with Ideas of Love, Liberty, Acceptance and Respect (PILLAR) in Laredo. The funds will be distributed in even amounts of $200,000 per year over the course of 5 years. The funds will impact nearly 2,500 Webb County residents.

“The 28th District of Texas faces unique health care challenges. Specifically, many of our residents live in medically underserved minority and rural communities.  I am pleased that these HHS grant programs continue to identify impactful, necessary, community-based efforts to abbreviate these challenges,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I am a strong supporter of PILLAR, an organization working tirelessly to address mental health and substance abuse disorders that focuses on illnesses and complications that are often ignored or trivialized. I hope that these projects will work to break these stigmas and provide critical resources to the people who need them most.”

“PILLAR would like to wholeheartedly thank Congressman Henry Cuellar for his assistance in delivering this much needed award of $1 million,” said Arturo Diaz, Jr, PILLAR Co-Founder.  “This award will help us reduce new HIV infections and improve HIV-related health outcomes of people with HIV." 

The funds, awarded through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will allow PILLAR to continue providing accessible mental health and substance addiction care for individuals and families. The purpose of this grant is to provide services to those at highest risk for HIV and substance use disorders.   

PILLAR will partner with community sectors including healthcare, schools, justice systems, social services, the faith community to implement a comprehensive community-based course of action. Additionally, PILLAR will develop and implement a public awareness campaign on the risk of substance misuse among individuals living with HIV and the importance of seeking care and treatment. The grant will also fund training and education around the risk of substance misuse, provide education on HIV/AIDS, provide needed linkages to service provision for individuals with HIV, and increase testing opportunities for HIV and Hepatitis C testing.


Congressman Henry Cuellar is a senior member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. Previously, he served as a Texas State Representative and Texas Secretary of State.  Sign up to receive Congressman Cuellar’s E-mail Newsletters 

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Por favor tomen en cuenta el congresista Cuellar habla inglés y español con fluidez.