Patrons for Peace Project found Dr. Larry Lynn almost two decades ago after making numerous phone calls searching for a psychologist who was willing to do some testing on a man who had been homeless, living in the woods for 40 years. It was obvious that the psychologist would have to be very skilled and willing to make adaptations to traditional methods of gathering information needed. We also needed a kind and patient doctor to interact with this man who had suffered so much trauma. This client had been placed in special education and then was taken out of school in the third grade. No one we called was interested in helping with this situation until we found Dr. Lynn.
Dr. Lynn spent a long time with this man assessing and gathering information. When the man came out of the testing room, he smiled for the first time and stated, “This is the best present I ever got. He said I was OK.” This gentleman had been teased his entire life in group homes and in jail about not having the ability and skills to help himself. He had suffered a stunted learning process his entire life due to his physical appearance and his lack of education because the system labeled and gave up on him. However, he was uplifted and changed forever after Dr. Lynn assessed him and assured him that he had the ability and determination to move forward in life. This finally gave the client some much-needed confidence in himself.
Dr. Lynn has helped Patrons for Peace Project assess many individuals over the years who have been chronically homeless. He understands what testing is needed to help us figure out exactly what is going on so we can help clients move forward. His diverse background, which includes having worked at the Department of Corrections doing court assessments and teaching, helps to make him an incredibly resourceful, intuitive, and insightful psychologist. He gains an instant rapport with each person and the clients are always happy that they met with him.
He has changed and saved so many people’s lives by helping Patrons for Peace to assess these individuals. Many of these people can get disability and end up with permanent housing because of his evaluations. Some of these people have neuro-cognitive disorders that have gone undetected for years while they have been homeless. We do have one major complaint about Dr. Lynn – there’s only one of him! Dr. Lynn, we are so grateful to you and all the services you have given to this forgotten population over the years. We could not have been so successful without you!
This October we are proud to feature Jeffrey Bingham who has worked at the Prince George’s House Men’s Shelter House for 6 years. He began work there in 2014 as a resident counselor and then worked himself up the ladder to the position of program director. We are so proud to honor him for his life’s work as he changed the trajectory of the lives of so many of our clients who walked through the doors of the shelter. In many cases he saved lives because many individuals would have never found housing without his help. Although Mr. Bingham has since moved on from working at the Prince George’s House Men’s Shelter, his huge impact on the many lives he changed forever will remain on the men he helped.
Our organization first met Mr. Bingham many years ago when we had a client who ended up in the 37-bed shelter. The men in this shelter come from many situations that have contributed to their state of homelessness. Therefore, they are very frequently feeling a sense of hopelessness and despair when they first walk through the shelter doors. Often this shelter is considered the “Last Stop”. The Prince George’s House Men’s Shelter’s physical structure can be described as somewhat small, simple, and non-descript with numerous bunk beds. But the atmosphere that pervades inside the shelter is big, multifaceted, and frankly astonishing. All due to the kind heart of Mr. Bingham,
Mr. Bingham cared for each of the residents as if they were a family member. His charismatic personality overflowed with warmth, empathy, genuine caring and kindness. He gave respect to each of the men and helped to restore their dignity and sense of self-worth. But most of all he gave hope as each of the men were on different paths to find housing and work. Mr. Bingham’s kind personality and smile made him very approachable. The men felt comfortable to talk with him and share the truth. His quick wit and sharp interpersonal skills were a gift because he was able to analyze personalities and the men’s needs. If you picture 37 men in a small space for long periods of time, you can imagine the issues that arise.
His innate skill set enabled him to quickly diffuse and de-escalate anger that naturally occurs in close quarters. He had such intuition that he could set the stage to prevent issues from coming up between the residents. He would put a heavy snorer back in the corner bunk bed. He separated them from the light sleepers. The list goes on. On the rare occasion when a resident had to leave the shelter — as sad as it was — they were fortunate because Mr. Bingham provided them with other resources to tap into for assistance outside the shelter environment.
Mr. Bingham was very smart because he surrounded himself with like-minded people to staff the shelter. He hand-picked the shelter staff based on their gifts to work with each other and with the men. This is another reason why the Prince George’s House Men’s Shelter is so special and unique. Like the work of a skilled carpenter, Mr. Bingham put together the pieces of this and that to build a model shelter. Mr. Bingham you are one of a kind and we are so grateful for all that you did to move our clients forward. You will be sorely missed but your legacy and changes you made to the shelter will live on to help those in need!
Patrons for Peace Project occasionally has a need for investigative services to help clients. We were extremely fortunate several years ago to have stumbled upon The Premiere Group. These investigative professionals are a husband and wife team who truly get the job done. They each possess an amazing skill set and complement each other in this incredibly difficult job. This professional team has assisted with numerous situations that have helped our clients attain a life with dignity.
One situation The Premiere Group assisted with involved a homeless man who was extremely ill with metastatic cancer. He was barely able to walk and was living behind a dumpster in Laurel. He was admitted to the hospital and there he showed us a crumpled, worn-out photo of two little children. He had carried it around for two decades. He had not had contact with his children for years. His dying request was to see his children. The Premiere Group was able to assist with finding one of the children. We took the lead and got in-touch with a daughter who in turn reached out to her siblings. The children were able to have a bittersweet reunion to say goodbye.
One other situation involved a man who was very paranoid. Patrons for Peace Project was trying to help him get Social Security Disability. He had continued to be denied due to a lack of evidence proving his paranoia existed. This illness needed to be documented in numerous situations, so it was truly believable to the doctors who decide. This man believed he was being watched in his apartment through different key holes and light fixtures. He also believed listening devices had been planted in the apartment. With the man’s permission, we hired The Premiere Group and they came to the apartment. The detective combed through the entire apartment showing the man each fixture, sometimes unscrewing, and removing overhead lights proving that no listening devices were present. The detective was so incredibly kind explaining everything he did each step of the way. When he was finished, we received a report explaining what he did and what he found. (Patrons for Peace Project was present during the investigation.) This was used as part of the man’s portfolio for his case. He ultimately won his disability.
We cannot talk about everything that The Premier Group has done for our clients, but I will tell you that the help they have provided has at times made the difference between life and death. We are so grateful for their quick responses, trustworthiness, dependability, and their incredible ability to think creatively. Thank you, The Premier Group. You change lives!
The multi-talented Bob Reilly has assisted with driving for Patrons for Peace Project for many years and this is no easy task. He is called upon frequently for emergencies to transport clients to many destinations. Some of these destinations are out of state. Situations that arise often need immediate attention or an opportunity to help someone may be lost. One homeless man decided in January that he finally wanted to detox from alcohol. The problem was that no treatment center in the State of Maryland would accept his Medicare. A treatment center in Ohio took his insurance, so Bob drove him there. He ended up driving through snow on a mountain to reach the destination. Another time Bob picked up a woman and her therapy dog in the middle of the night (His wife came with him on this trip) to get her on a Greyhound bus away from her abusive boyfriend. She had been beaten and was fleeing to a relative’s house in another state.
Bob’s personality is such that he is very in tune with a person’s mood, anxiety, and fear. He has an innate ability to instantly connect with the client he is transporting and has been known to stop on the way (If necessary) for fast food or a soft drink to help soothe the client. He has taken people to the hospital, to court, picked them up from jail, moved them from unsafe living situations, transported them to medical appointments and the list goes on. A disabled man who Patrons for Peace Project helped for a few years came clean about his past. He admitted that he had a warrant in South Carolina, and he had fled the area and came to Maryland. We took him to the police (at his request) so he could turn himself in, but his crime was not extraditable. Bob was called and drove him to South Carolina so he could turn himself in there to face his crime. He also helped to find his family and there was a sweet reunion. (The client’s family thought he was deceased.) Bob recently was called to help with a dangerous and volatile situation where police back-up was needed. Diving right in, he quickly helped to move the client and his belongings to safety.
There are many things that Bob does for Patrons for Peace that confidentiality rules prevent us from telling you about. But we can tell you that Bob is worldly, enthusiastic, upbeat and can talk with the clients on an array of topics during the transport. Some of the clients find out he is a talented musician and music becomes the topic. Other clients report they have been grateful that he has prayed with them as they face a difficult situation. Bob is an outstanding client advocate on so many levels. Bob you are so appreciated, and we could not engage in the kind of work we do without you.