Crews provide free snow removal for elderly, disabled | How to request help

"Clearing snow can be very dangerous for people," said Al Dyer, who serves as a Camden County commissioner.
LINDENWOLD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- With a full snow removal team assembled, crews in Camden County, New Jersey know how they'll dig out. But for some residents, their personal snow removal plan is a lot harder.

"Trying to ask seniors to shovel their own walkways is tough," said Al Dyer, who serves as a Camden County commissioner. "Clearing snow can be very dangerous for people."

That's why a number of seniors and disabled residents began calling the Camden County Office of Emergency Management ahead of the storm.

"The phones have started ringing already," said Dyer of the Friday morning phone calls.

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But residents have to wait until after the snow ends in order to schedule snow removal with Camden County.

"You can call the Department of Emergency Management and we will try to get these guys ready to come out and shovel your snow for you," said Dyer.

Supervised and screened low-level offenders from the Department of Corrections will shovel the sidewalks and driveways for elderly and disabled residents who call.

Requests will be taken and grouped by neighborhood with the shoveling happening between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Crews will only do shoveling and will bring their own shoveling equipment. They will not be salting driveways or sidewalks.

Another service that provides complimentary snow removal is also experiencing a surge in calls.

"Since Monday we've been receiving calls of people registering or reserving their spots," said Jackie Wleh, director of Able Body Christian Men, or ABC Men.

The group allows seniors and disabled people to reserve times to have their driveways, cars and sidewalks cleared for free. The group brings their own shovels and salting equipment to clear surfaces.

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It's a service that volunteer Vasco Wesseh says seniors appreciate.

"For them to see people they don't know come and clean up for them, I'm sure they appreciate that," said Wesseh.

ABC Men has been providing the service for 10 years on a first-come-first-served basis. They ask that residents register on their website in order to receive the service. There is no charge, but Wleh asks that people who visit the website consider making a donation so that the organization can buy a 15-passenger van in order to transport more volunteers to clear snow.

The organization is also looking for more volunteers. They'll be working in the Philadelphia area and beyond this weekend.

"We'll be starting up in Jersey and making our way to Philadelphia," said Wleh. "We provide the shovel. We just come and provide our smile and leave."

*Register for free snow removal provided by ABC Men:

*To request snow removal from Camden County, call the Division of Emergency Management at (856) 783-4808 ext. 5035 from 8am to 4:30pm. Calls for snow removal will not be taken until after it has stopped snowing.
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