Volunteers to shovel your driveaway could be a click away

Finding a volunteer to shovel your driveway could be a click away.

A new online tool has arrived in Barrie that will help connect volunteers with those needing snow removal assistance. Snow Angels Canada (https://snowangelscanada.ca/) is an online platform where residents who require assistance with snow shoveling can post a request for service and volunteers in their area can reach out to help.

Although the city does not own or operate the online platform, city staff have worked with Snow Angels Canada to customize it for Barrie residents. As the platform has just launched in Barrie, the city is currently encouraging residents to sign up as volunteers at snowangelscanada.ca to grow the program.

On September 30, 2019, the city issued a different kind of Request for Proposal (RFP). Instead of outlining the exact service that the city required, this RFP asked the business community to come up with creative solutions to the challenge of winter snow removal (specifically windrows – the pile of snow at the end of a residential driveway created by a snow plow) for people who are not able to clear the snow themselves. The city received three submissions and on December 16, 2019 awarded the RFP to Snow Angels Canada.

This RFP was done as part of the Municipal Innovation Exchange (MIX) partnership. MIX is a partnership with the City of Barrie, the City of Guelph, City of London and is supported by MaRS Discovery District (MaRs). The goal of MIX is to improve and expand the practice of innovation procurement in the municipal sector and create practices that are tested, scalable and sustainable.

“Typically, when the city issues an RFP, we have a solution in mind and clearly state the type of service we are looking for,” said Sonya Favretto, Innovation Project Manager. “For this RFP, we took a challenge-based approach to procurement, so we can harness the ideas from the public. We hope this tool will facilitate more neighbourhood connections.”

To register your snow clearing request or as a volunteer to help your neighbours in need, visit https://snowangelscanada.ca/

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