Chesterton Tribune



Town of Chesterton offers program for non-emergency assistance

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Chesterton residents can expect to be visited in the coming days by Town of Chesterton employees--properly credentialed and wearing masks and gloves--who will be distributing laminated signs for folks to display in their front windows:

*A thumbs-up on green if all is well in their home.

*A thumbs-down on red if non-emergency assistance is needed.

Flyers with additional instructions will be included with the signs.

It’s part of what’s being called the Chesterton COVID-19 Resident Assistance Plan, designed by Police Chief Dave Cincoski, Town Manager Bernie Doyle, Town Council President Sharon Darnell, D-4th, and Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann.

Sign distribution will begin as early as Wednesday in the older parts of town and in Crocker, with a secondary focus in the more recently developed subdivisions: the Estates of Sand Creek, Easton Park, Stone Meadows, Tamarack. Municipal employees will be tasked to cycling in and out of the neigborhoods to assist with distribution, and police officers will monitor the window signs and attempt to contact residents who are displaying the red thumbs-down.

Cincoski emphasized that the sign system is for non-emergency assistance. Those who require emergency assistance should dial 911 immediately.

In addition, a dedicated phone line has been established--call 921-5039--which will be manned in person between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This is not--repeat not--an emergency line but is intended for folks who have pertinent COVID-19 questions or who are seeking non-emergency assistance of some sort.

Again, that number is 921-5039. After hours or on weekends, leave a detailed message.

Think of the Chesterton COVID-19 Resident Assistance Plan as a clearinghouse of resources available to residents who, because of their age or health or limited means, are uncertain what kinds of assistance may be available to them. “Our goal is to ascertain a real need for assistance, provide appropriate referrals, and/or attempt to assist with means available to us,” Cincoski said. “Our hope with this plan is to let the residents know that we may be able to assist them in ways outside the normal scope of town services, and/or provide them with information on services that may be available to them. We may be able to assist residents with their needs, if they are incapable due to infirmity, limited means, lack of actual knowledge of what is available to them, or lack of technology.”

Among the services which the town will be able to refer, along with specific contact information, are the following: Meals on Wheels and the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry; United Way; the Westchester and Liberty trustees’ offices; utility services; Opportunity Enterprises; Salvation Army; Duneland School Corporation for free/reduced meal pickup; Jewel/Osco and Strack & Van Til grocery delivery and curbside pickup; local taxi services and ridesharing services; online restaurant delivery services; Walgreens and CVC prescription delivery; Indiana Department of Workforce Development for unemployment benefits; Comcast; and HealthLinc and the Northshore Health Clinic.

“The point of the plan is putting residents in contact with organizations which can really assist them with the basics,” Doyle noted.

“The group has worked hard on the list,” Darnell added. “It’s not perfect but it’s the best we can do right now. These are services outside the scope of the town, but they’re services which some people might not be aware of. We want to be the middle-men to help folks get help.”

“The window placards will let people know we’re there and I’m encouraging everyone to look for thumbs-down signs in their neighbor’s window,” Darnell also said. “In these difficult times, some people just need to hear a voice.”

“The way I see it,” Lukmann told the Chesterton Tribune, “we need to do what we can for our people. If nothing else I want them to get comfort out of this, knowing that someone cares. This is unnerving for me. I can’t imagine what the elderly and people who really have it tough are going through.”


Posted 4/7/2020




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