Following large snowfall and arctic temperature drops across Minnesota, several chapter volunteers stopped by a local houseless encampment in South Minneapolis. Coordinated by the chapter’s Street Corps Working Group, this first day of action for the new Snow Shoveling Program had these volunteers shovel around the encampment to ensure it was accessible to its residents, at least one of whom utilized a wheelchair to get around. Following the shoveling effort, these volunteers checked in with residents and helped distribute hand and foot warmers before departing.
This work is important as the Twin Cities currently does not offer comprehensive municipal sidewalk clearing, which can be a major mobility impairment to residents. For our houseless neighbors in particular, the impacts of snow are acutely felt as snow buildup can submerge tents and make sections of encampments impassable to both encampment residents and aid volunteers alike. Where our local government fails to enact needed policy to help the community, our program allows us to directly connect with our neighbors to make change and meet community needs.
The Street Corps Working Group is looking for more volunteers to help with future shoveling efforts around the Twin Cities. To get added to the volunteer pool for upcoming shifts this winter, you can sign up here.
By Shane M