The COVID-19 Pandemic continued to interfere with the normal flow of social service agencies by slowing down and backing up services available to the homeless population. Bob Reilly, our assistant and driver, made it possible for us to continue to provide many valuable services under these challenging circumstances. His primary focus was transportation, but he was also able to help clients apply to redeem stolen stimulus checks. He also assisted some of our clients with paperwork to straighten out some tax issues. After starting out with us as a driver, Bob has transformed into a valuable multi-faceted resource for our clients.
Patrons For Peace Project continued to hand out masks and hand sanitizer daily. We purchased 16 phones for homeless individuals so we could immediately begin working with people in crisis and connect eight of them with QCI Behavioral Health.
We came across a homeless man who was almost blind. Immediately we put him into a hotel for safety. We then were able to partner with the Wilmer Eye Clinic (for over a year) and provide transportation to Baltimore City while housing him and arranging for him to have two surgeries on each eye. His treatment was successful, and he can now see.
We were able to help nine individuals get into treatment programs. These were individuals who were put out of local shelters for behaviors caused by substance use disorder issues. Then they were assisted with halfway-house placement when finished treatment.
We were instrumental in pushing and helping to pass an ordinance in the City of Laurel requiring that air conditioning be provided by landlords for their tenants. We met with the local mayor and individual council members. We consulted with officials in other jurisdictions that had passed similar legislation. We were successful in presenting a Petition with nearly 100 signatures to City Hall. Now we have a law requiring landlords to provide air-conditioning to indoor living units during the hot summer months. (A law requiring heat was already on the books.)
We were able to help four homeless individuals by applying for Social Security disability benefits and eventually housing them.