Easterseals Crossroads has been a constant in the Indianapolis landscape for over 80 years; Crossroads Industrial Services is a division of Easterseals Crossroads, which was established by a small group of parents to meet the needs of their children with disabilities. Today Easterseals Crossroads offers an expansive variety of programs and services specifically designed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities throughout the life span. Our services touch the lives of over 88,000 individuals; we are the “go to” resource for people of all ages, regardless of disability. That will not change.
Throughout our history, we’ve adapted our approach whenever the needs of people with disabilities have changed; with COVID-19, we have felt drastic changes within a matter of a few weeks. This pandemic has created upheaval for our community and those we serve.
- People who depend on our in-facility services such as adult day, early childhood programs and respite are temporarily struggling to make their days meaningful.
- People with autism who often depend on routine and stability as a framework for successfully achieving their goals have had their worlds turned upside down.
- Families of children with disabilities who rely on therapy services for continued healthy development are at a loss.
- Homeless veterans and job seekers with disabilities are finding it almost impossible to find employment and/or maintain current employment.
Now more than ever, Easterseals Crossroads is needed in this community. But we have been affected; we are facing challenges ourselves. Our staff does not have access to the traditional means of delivering services and are learning new ways through technology. Like many other nonprofits, our organization is taking a significant financial hit as we continue to support our employees so that they can be there for the people who need us.
- Our therapists are rapidly adapting to the provision of telehealth as a temporary solution for physical, occupational and speech therapy.
- Our direct support staff are providing in-home adult day services so that family members with essential jobs can continue to work.
- Our school to work staff are helping our students with disabilities stay on track for graduation and eventual employment.
Many of you have asked us what we need. It is critical for us to gather our community partners, our donors, our friends and our staff in an effort to continue to be the resource that any one of us could need at any point in our lives. Our world may have changed – and it will continue to change – but our purpose, dedication and adaptability will continue to evolve and respond. You can help!
- You can join in on our social media campaign #StayGrateful. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share! Let’s share the good news about how we are adapting, staying relevant and thriving.
- If you’re able, you can donate via our website so that our staff can be there for others in this time of need.
- And you can check on your friends and neighbors who have disabilities. Social distancing shouldn’t mean social isolation.
- Thank you for your ongoing support of this organization.
Let’s stay close across the distance, and let’s stay grateful.
During this extremely challenging time, we are all looking for ways to maintain our health and our mental health. Here our some resources that may be helpful to anyone in our community as we learn to navigate the changes in our daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Looking for answers on COVID-19? Please contact Indiana State Department of Health toll-free number at 877-826-0011.
- Indy.Gov https://coronavirus.in.gov/2400.htm and https://coronavirus.in.gov/
- https://www.auntbertha.com/ is a great place to start if you’re in need of emergency food, healthcare, childcare, or income assistance.
- Indy.gov https://www.indy.gov/topic/covid
- United Way has set up a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund. If you call 1-866-211-9966 and provide the zip code, they will give a list of agencies that will assist with bills, rent and food.
- 211 Indiana Resources for COVID-19 https://in211.communityos.org/COVID-19
- This article gives helpful hints for emergency financial assistance https://www.gofundme.com/c/blog/emergency-financial-assistance?fbclid=IwAR2OK59Polij7Q23YAHui3aZLfdHnB6v9LCORpskwsGTVyZsX3m9sNJZxIw
- Meal packages for IPS families https://myips.org/blog/district/ips-and-gleaners-join-forces-to-feed-students-families/?fbclid=IwAR1GWQmeforjkpUULmhuIKvxr9UEeNy-s43o9gD7L_KdrKV7UPBBKI9_LaY
- Marion County residents can download the Community Compass app on their smartphone, or text “hi” to 317-434-3758. Community Compass will help families locate and connect with food assistance resources https://www.indyhunger.org/compass/
- The Martin Luther King Community Center is offering lunch assistance for neighborhood families. They are also accepting applications for their childcare programs, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as their capacity allows. Please contact the MLK Center at 317-923-4581 for further details.
- Food assistance availability map https://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/5768.htm
- UndocuHoosiers’ Resource List https://undocumented.btown-in.org/community-resources/
- Undocumented Hoosier Support Fund. If you would like to request support, please email at email@example.com or call 317-205-6424 or 574-226-3508.
- La Casa de Amistad www.lacasadeamistad.org or 574-233-2120
- Hancock County Humane Society is offering pet food assistance on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Humane Society https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-faq#help
- The Indy Learning Team created a story spot for elementary students. You can find more on their website www.theindylearningteam.org or by subscribing to their you tube page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9LgjjEm5LK5b4TId_vcBJw
- Indy with Kids is live-streaming fun and educational playdates every weekday. Visit https://www.facebook.com/watch/indywithkids/ to tune in or stream past playdates.
- While all branches of the Indianapolis Public Library are closed through April 5th, there are still many online resources available to you and your family if you have a library card. Visit their website to download and stream music, video, audiobooks, comics, magazines, and e-books https://www.indypl.org/books-movies-music/download-stream?fbclid=IwAR16qYcTRowqjW8dE5gJJXi-TDg3DF8-R1-GXh21cP0JSXeuO3YFADLf5A4
- 125 things to do with kids https://parade.com/1009774/stephanieosmanski/things-to-do-with-kids-during-coronavirus-quarantine/
- Take a virtual museum trip https://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr057.shtml
- 25 ways to get moving at home https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/25-ways-to-get-moving-at-home-infographic
- Scholastic https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
- Free YMCA fitness videos https://ymca360.org/
- Ten Percent Happier offers mental health resources in the form of meditation and mindfulness practices through their app and website. They have several free podcasts, guided meditations, and livestreams available in their Coronavirus Sanity Guide linked below. https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide
- Mental Health is especially critical during this time of social distancing. If you are in crisis, text MHA to 741741 to reach a trained Crisis Counselor 24/7.
- Indiana Legal Services https://www.indianalegalservices.org/covid19response
- Legal Service Providers https://indianalegalhelp.org/district-g/
- The Arc of Indiana https://www.arcind.org/covid-19-information-and-resources/
- Family Voices of Indiana http://fvindiana.blogspot.com/
- About Special Kids https://www.aboutspecialkids.org/home-page-highlights/healthcare-toolbox/
- Insource http://insource.org/resources/coronavirus-outbreak-information/
- FSSA https://www.in.gov/fssa/5756.htm
- Resources for Hoosiers with Disabilities https://www.in.gov/gpcpd/2731.htm
- Stages Learning Materials Free Language Builder ARIS Resource Kit for families faced with the challenges of educating and engaging their child with autism or other special needs at home
- Autism Society Mental Health and Respite Kit for support during the COVID-19 crisis
- American Psychological Association information on keeping your distance to remain safe
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network Parent Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19
We are revising and updating this message on an as needed basis.
The daily news about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been of utmost importance to us as an agency. We are – and have always been – concerned about the health and safety of those whom we serve and with whom we interact, as well as our staff and community.
Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, we are following the information as it becomes available from our national organization Easterseals and from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We recommend that our staff, consumers and all those who visit our facilities do the same. We are following the guidance from our state and national authorities, as well as our medical director, Chuck Dietzen, MD. As the messaging of these authorities evolves, ours will, too.
It is important to remember that we all play an active role in trying to control this unusual situation. We wholly believe that what we can do together will allow us to overcome this unprecedented pandemic.
At this point, our facilities are open and operating as normal with the following exceptions
- We have suspended rental of our conference spaces to community partners until April 17, at which point we will reassess the situation.
- We have suspended our respite programs including Parents’ Night Out, Parents’ Day Out, CHEER and Teen Night Out until April 17.
- We have postponed our autism support group meetings and awareness series until a later date.
- We have postponed all trainings and conferences scheduled through April 17.
We are doing the following for those individuals and families whom we see in our service areas
- We are utilizing temporal thermometers to check temperatures as individuals enter the building. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be asked to return home and advised to consult with a healthcare professional.
- We are frequently cleaning and disinfecting areas and equipment including computers, toys and therapy items that are commonly used.
- We have reduced the visitors to our facilities by suspending rental of conference room space and suspending tours to new potential consumers.
- We have suspended community outings in those program areas that participate.
- We have suspended volunteer activities in all facilities.
- We are requiring our staff to be keenly aware of their own health and stay home if ill.
Here is what you can do to maintain safety and health if you come to our facilities for appointments
- Stay home if you or any family member has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Stay home if you or a family member is sick or if you are uncomfortable keeping an appointment. Call us and we will reschedule your appointment.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or who appear sick. This virus is passed by contact or droplets in the air.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this is how the virus spreads.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Bingo Bonanza 2020
Easterseals Crossroads is proud to once again partner with Century 21 Scheetz to bring an amazing evening of bingo, food and fun to Indianapolis on Friday, February 21, 2020. The fun takes place at Northside Events & Social Club (formerly Northside Knights of Columbus) at 2100 E. 71st Street, Indianapolis. This year we are playing bingo Mardi Gras style; we will have Mardi Gras bling, but you and your group can come in style if inspired!
Tickets are $50 advance sale only and include 3 game cards for each of 7 games, buffet dinner, 2 drink tickets and free water and soda. Due to charity gaming laws, tickets can only be purchased by cash or check (download order form). Tickets are advance sale only; we have a limited amount to sell, so purchase early as we will sell out quickly. Contact AnneMarie Chambers if you have any questions about Bingo Bonanza.
Gather a group or gather a few friends and download your order form today! You really don’t want to miss the fun! (Festival License 000834)
Amazing Happens at Easterseals Crossroads
For over 80 years, Easterseals Crossroads has been actively engaged in helping individuals with disabilities achieve their greatest levels of independence. Crossroads Industrial Services is a division of Easterseals Crossroads and supports many of the programs and services. Independence is what inspires us, motivates us, drives us; independence is what we celebrate with those who come through our door.
Independence does not happen quickly; it can take many years. It can fluctuate — it can improve — it can decline. Behind every independent moment at Easterseals Crossroads is a team who plans, practices, encourages, guides and celebrates — a team who stands with our families and spends many behind-the-scenes hours in preparation for a moment of independence.
Behind the scenes is where all the good stuff happens. It is where a teenager with autism gets behind the wheel for the first time; the first independent drive can be many months later. It is where a child with cerebral palsy takes her first independent step after years of therapy. It is where a young adult with a learning disability earns his first paycheck after 12 months of looking for that first job.
It takes a community to support our behind-the-scenes work. We rely heavily on our devoted staff who share our mission to make profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day. In addition to our staff, we cannot thrive without our partners, sponsors, advocates, volunteers, supporters and donors. We cannot do what we do without support from people who know that independence takes work, time, and money; people who know that community support is what enables Easterseals Crossroads to do what it does best.
Donations help us assist children and adults achieve milestones in independence. Your contribution supports our mission to promote inclusion, independence and dignity for the many people whose lives are affected by disability or special needs.
Your donation made now through December 31 is matched through the generosity of a matching gift sponsor. Donate today and double the impact of your gift!
Watch our video! Read our annual report! Donate today!
Thanks to Buzz Smith who is our Veteran Resource Navigator at Easterseals Crossroads for this article
Easterseals Crossroads is very proud of our service to veterans and veteran families. Not only do we help veterans reintegrate into their communities after serving our country, we offer programs that include support for military service members, veterans and their families.
Here are some things to know about our veteran services program.
Many of our veteran services staff members are veterans.
Our veteran services team consists of veterans from various branches of the military, including the Marine Corps, Army and the Navy. All veterans on our team served in Desert Storm. In addition to the veterans on our team, our team also has family members who fought in various other wars including World War II.
We help veterans in a variety of ways.
Our veteran services team works under the Federal Department of Labor Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program Grant (HVRP). HVRP has established two core objectives:
- to provide services to assist in reintegrating homeless veterans into meaningful employment within the labor force
- to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that will address the complex problems facing homeless veterans. HVRP grantees accomplish these objectives through a variety of core services.
We partner with other professionals in our community to provide quality services.
In addition to employment, our veteran services team partners with a variety of community partners to assure that our clients receive the supportive services they need, such as housing, training, transportation, education and anything else that will help them in their quest to become an asset to themselves, their families and society. The veteran services team brings in these community partners every other month to Easterseals Crossroads for the Joining Community Forces Indiana meetings. Some of the community partners are Veterans Affairs (VA), Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), Indiana National Guard Family Programs (INNG), WorkOne, Indy Vet Court, Indiana Legal Services, Indiana Military/Veterans Coalition, Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR), HVAF, Operation: Job Ready Veterans (OJRV), Marine for Life (M$L) and many more.
We engage our community to support our mission of providing services for veterans.
One way that the general public can help support our mission is by increasing awareness through the Remembering Our Fallen from Indiana. This exhibit is an awe-inspiring, touring photo display of Indiana’s military who have died in a combat zone since September 11, 2001. The exhibit is available and can be scheduled in a variety of different venues. This memorial not only increases awareness, but also provides funding for services to our clients such as, work clothing, gas cards, tools and other items that will help them in their new job.
How everyone can help.
Understand the differences between memorial day and veterans day.
Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance and November 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
Simply say thank you to those who have protected us and our country.
A simple “Thank you for your service” is generally accepted with most veterans. Some veterans do not like to be singled out and feel that their service to their country was their duty. Most feel honored to have served.
“Military Veterans who serve our nation are deeply deserving of our honor and respect. Whether in times of war or peace, veterans and their families devote their lives to the service of our country and the freedom and ideals we hold dear. The sacrifices they make are without parallel.
Easterseals Crossroads has served Veterans in a variety of ways for more than 20 years. Most recently, we have devoted a great deal of resources to serving veterans in need as they reintegrate back into civil life after a career in the military. We are honored to serve as a leader in the community in providing the supports necessary to help Veterans thrive.” – Bruce Schnaith, Vice President, Easterseals Crossroads
Contact us for more information about veteran services.