On Wednesday a group of Hartford teens and young adults spent their snow day helping to shovel out driveways of elderly homeowners at no cost to them.
Hartford saw about 14 inches of snow from the storm, and it was a heavy mess to clean up, so about 30 members of Hartford’s Youth Service Corps were lending a hand.
"It gives people a great experience. I mean it gives kids an experience of trying something they never tried before,” said Tyauna Bell, of Hartford.
"It was the greatest I’ve ever seen and I really appreciate them coming and doing the yard. This is a very very good program. Should keep it up,” said Gladys Brooks, of Hartford.
Hartford's mayor created the program to give people 16-24, who may have had issues in school or on the street, a job and help improve the city.
“These 250 young people have performed about 82,000 hours of community projects ranging from beautification of parks to working alongside or fire departments special services unit to help residents who have been displaced by fire,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. “And about a month ago we launched this program for elderly or disabled residents to be able to reach out and be able to say we need some help clearing our houses after snowstorms."
It's part time year-round work at the $10.10 minimum wage.
It can be back breaking work but the kids make quick work of it, and for many of them it's there first job to put on their resume.
"It's not just the interaction, it's building the workforce skill where there's communication, whether it's commitment, whether it's showing up for the job or just being there on time. So, it's good experience for them and it's a great experience for myself as well,” said William McClendon, who was mentoring and leading a group of several youth on Wednesday.
"Yeah, I'm having fun, you know there's nothing else to do inside the house so best to get outside and shovel,” said Louis Diaz, 17 of Hartford.
The city's Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation help lead the program
“I joined because it gives me better opportunities in finding a better job and to having a job in my career. And I like it because most of my friends are actually in it,” said Joernel Torres, 18 of Hartford.
There has been $2.2 million donated to the youth corps program from local companies.
If you are elderly or disabled person in the city of Hartford, you can call 311 to request free snow removal.
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