Hundreds of residents of Waterloo region want a snow buddy this season, but so far there’s not enough buddies to go around.
The snow buddy program enlists workers — called “snow buddies” — to clear and maintain walkways and sidewalks for seniors and people with disabilities.
Demand is especially high this year. So far, 128 people in Kitchener are waiting for their buddy and there’s a further 75 waiting in Cambridge.
Rosalind Horne is with Community Support Connections, the group that runs the snow buddy program. She says they’re seeing “a perfect storm” this year because of an early snowfall and some older snow buddies retiring.
“It helps people stay in their home, close to their memories,” says Horne. “If they’re still able to get out and about in a safe manner it can help them stay connected to the community.”
Snow buddies make about $18 per hour, paid for by the clients. Almost anybody can be a snow buddy — as long as you’re high school age or over and complete a police background check.
Prospective snow buddies can fill out an application on the organization’s website.