Snow removal is always a monumental task for large cities. It has been particularly difficult recently due to the large amount of snow received in the Northeastern United States. Baltimore Maryland has an interesting solution that was put to the test this snow storm, and city officials say things went extremely well. Every snow storm the city of Baltimore cleans up driveways, sidewalks, and other areas for over 1000 disabled or elderly citizens that need help, this year rather than contracting it out to various private companies the city tried something new; Baltimore created a smartphone app to connect teenagers with adults in need.
Essentially this new initiative gives teenagers around the city a simple way to pick up some work with almost no effort. Teens simply have to download the smartphone app, open it up, and look for snow shoveling jobs in the surrounding area. Nearly all users found work within a block of two, and many locals reported that they found out that even their neighbors were the ones in need. The city did make it appealing to the teens as well, jobs paid $10 per hour for the work, which was definitely enough to keep teenagers around the city interested. The city reported that the system worked flawlessly and everyone in need saw their needs taken care of, that’s quite an impressive feat considering this was the first snow storm that the system was actually used for.
This program was first dreamed up last summer by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, she wanted a way to save the city some money on snow removal while also helping as many people as possible. Now that things have been put into action the city was happy to report that the cost went down, satisfaction went up, and thousands of teenagers around the city saw a nice little paycheck on their snow days. It absolutely could not have gone smoother or better for the citizens of Baltimore and the city is happy to report that the snow removal app will remain in full force for any more snow storms in the future. In addition the city is looking for ways to expand the services that could be offered in this manner, which could really make a big impact on the lives of those in need.
No word on just how much money the big users made during this snow storm, but teenagers were happy to report that they were tired and sore but appreciated the opportunity. $10 an hour for some simple and fun work really motivated kids to get out and do what they could to help and after word spread, hundreds of additional teenagers wanted to sign up and become a part of the program.