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The Chevy Chase neighborhood email list was alive this week with residents discussing the dangers of having senior citizens shoveling their own snow. The fines for those who don’t shovel their snow, they argued, seemed unfair, especially when the city doesn’t do a great job of shoveling snow in its own public spaces.
“My 80 year old constituent shoveled her entire corner lot during snowmagedon by herself. It resulted in a year of cortisone shots and finally a knee replacement surgery for her,” ANC Commissioner Carolyn “Callie” Cook wrote on neighborhood message board. “The City needs to come up with a better solution than requiring seniors who are a large percentage of homeowners in the district from such rigid rules when it won’t even enforce the existing laws on public space when used for commercial purposes.
Cook then proposed an idea: hire homeless people who are willing and able to be the District’s seasonal snow shovelers.
“They could be given a warm outfit to work in, earn a decent living, and perhaps get back on their feet with some creative thinking and attention to this under-represented constituency,” she wrote.
But, as one commenter pointed, how would Chevy Chase get homeless people to “parts of towns like ours,” particularly when transportation options are sparse in the aftermath of a storm.
Logistical hurdles aside, this probably isn’t the kind of policy Vince Gray is looking for to solve D.C.’s homelessness crisis.
Photo by Mike DeBonis.