116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The city of Cedar Rapids is rolling out the next phase of its pilot “Snow Buddies” program. The program pairs residents in need of assistance with volunteers who can help clear sidewalks of snow and ice accumulations in the winter. The program is intended to benefit residents who are not physically able to remove snow and do not have other resources to remove snow, such as neighbors, friends or a hired service.
In September, a call for volunteers went out for Snow Heroes who would like to help their neighbors in need this winter. Snow Hero volunteers can continue to sign up on the City website at www.CityofCR.com/SnowBuddies. Heroes must be at least 18 years old and provide their own snow-removal equipment. Snow Heroes will be paired with residents in need based on factors such as location and availability. Snow Heroes will not be allowed to solicit or accept money, tips or gifts for their volunteer activities. The number of volunteers identified will ultimately determine the number of Snow Buddy pairings that can be made through the program.
The second phase of the program has begun, where residents who meet the program qualifications will be allowed to sign up to request assistance on the City website at www.CityofCR.com/SnowBuddies or by calling Solid Waste & Recycling Customer Service at (319) 286-5897. To qualify for assistance, individuals must reside in Cedar Rapids, be 65 years or older and/or have a mobility impairment, and qualify under the income guidelines. A single-person household can earn up to $31,300 and a two-person household can earn up to $38,800 a year to be eligible.
“We know how important it is for the community to be able to use safe, accessible sidewalks no matter what time of year,” said April Wing, a program manager for the City of Cedar Rapids. “Snow Buddies is intended for those in our community who might not have access to the resources they need to clear their sidewalks in a timely manner after it snows. We’ve already heard from several residents who are interested in this service. We wanted to make sure everybody knows when the application window will be open.”
The pilot Snow Buddy program will have limited capacity and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. City staff will assess the pilot program following the snow season, after which a determination of continuation or any program modifications will be made.