What happened to Mr. and Mrs. Gaston is very sad. Unfortunately, there is no foreseeable way their accident could’ve been prevented without the intervention of family and/or friends.
Dear Editor, What happened to Mr. and Mrs. Gaston is very sad. Unfortunately, there is no foreseeable way their accident could’ve been prevented without the intervention of family and/or friends.
According to my office records, we received the first well-being call concerning the elderly couple on Monday, May 24. That led to the discovery of Mr. and Mrs. Gaston laying disabled in their home and unable to seek help.
While it is the city’s responsibility to respond to clean up and rodent abatement requests, we cannot go onto private property without the owners’ permission. Our records show that we received an initial call to the alderman’s office on August 11, 2009 by an anonymous person. The neighbor reported debris in the alley, lots of garbage and possibly rats. We reported the complaint to Streets and Sanitation and it was addressed.
The Gaston’s home, at 1508 E. 69th St., shares an alley with The Cheap Store which is routinely cleaned by the ward superintendent because of customer traffic. There was nothing from the back of their home or the front to indicate the level of squalor in which they were living.
The city’s 311 operators received a request for rodent abatement from the same block on November 23, 2009. Records show that request was also completed.
Now, that the Gastons’ living conditions have been uncovered, my office will make every effort to work with the city’s appropriate agencies to make sure they get the care they need. Leslie Hairston
5th Ward Alderman
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