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.
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.
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.
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
“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.”
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.”