Snow Corps - Frequently Asked Questions

About

Chicago Snow Corps is a new program that will connect volunteers with blocks where residents in need of snow removal – such as seniors and disabled people – live. 

While winter can be hazardous for everyone here in the City of Chicago, Chicago Snow Corps aims to help minimize potential heavy-snow emergencies by pairing volunteers with blocks where elderly and disabled citizens have requested help. 

To request a volunteer to shovel your block in case of extreme snowfall, call 311. This is a volunteer-matching service. The City will work to match those who have requested assistance, in a timely manner but there is no guarantee. This is also not a 24 hour service, the coordination of volunteers will happen M-F during a standard work day unless we have an extreme snow emergency.

What is the Chicago Snow Corps?

Chicago Snow Corps is a City referral program that uses 311 to connect volunteers willing to shovel snow with blocks where those in need of assistance live.

What are the requirements for participating as a volunteer?

To be a volunteer, you need to be willing and able to help shovel out an area as designated to you by the City and have your own equipment, i.e. shovel or snow blower to do so. Volunteers will be notified via email in case of a heavy snowfall. Volunteers are not employees, agents, or contractors of the City of Chicago by virtue of participation in this program.

What are the requirements for participating as an applicant for assistance?

Recipients of assistance must be age 60 or older and/OR have a physical disability.  They must also live within Chicago City limits and lack access to the available resources (financial resources or local family/friends) to assist with snow removal.

Please note that we might not be able to have enough volunteers to match up with every resident that places a 311 call for service.  This is a voluntary effort and best efforts will be made to help out our most vulnerable residents.

What do I need to know as an applicant for assistance?

Guidelines for recipients include: What you should not do (please read the following carefully):

  • Do not expect that a volunteer will provide services other than snow removal.
  • Do not expect that a volunteer will remove snow other than on the public sidewalks and on a path up to your front door. 
  • Do not expect that your volunteer will remove snow if it is expected to melt within 24 hours.
  • Do not offer payment for snow removal.
  • Inviting a volunteer into your home is NOT endorsed by the City.

What do I need to know as a volunteer Chicago Snow Corps member?

Things you should not do (please read the following carefully):

  • Do not accept any payment or tips for your services.
  • Do not give your home phone number to your recipient.
  • Entering a recipient's home is NOT endorsed by the City.
  • Note: You are not obligated to shovel driveways.

Things you should do (please read the following carefully):

  • Do remove snow from the sidewalk of your recipient’s house. Clear a path to the front door if specifically requested. You are not obligated to shovel the driveway.
  • Do shovel the snow within 24 hours after a snowstorm ends

 

The City of Chicago, its agents, and its employees (i) are not liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information on this site, (ii) assume no responsibility for anyone's use of the information, and (iii) are not liable for any damages (of any type, for any reason, however caused, or under any theory of liability) arising in any way out of the use of this site.

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