Compiled by Cara DeGette, Editor, GPHN
Calling All Snow Angels
Shoveling your sidewalk within 24 hours of snowfall is required by the City and County of Denver, and failure to do so could result in a $150 fine. But what about older neighbors or people living with disabilities, who aren’t able to take on such physical labor and cannot afford snow removal services?
Enter the Snow Angels, a new program currently housed in Denver’s Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnership that is aimed to help Denver residents with shoveling their sidewalks.
Park Hill is the Snow Angels’ second neediest neighborhood, and 15 households have recently requested assistance. Neighbors all over Park Hill have been unofficially pitching in and helping needier neighbors with the chore of shoveling, but as of mid-December just two volunteers in Park Hill have officially signed up to be Snow Angels.
It takes only a few seconds to sign up, at denvergov.org/snowangels. All that’s needed is your name and address. New volunteers are then matched with up to three households in their neighborhood and are asked to shovel within 24 hours of snowfall to help their neighbors avoid a ticket – and to help keep our neighborhoods safe for walking and rolling. Shovels can be provided on request.
If you are interested in getting some help from your neighbors, sign up at the same website – denvergov.org/snowangels – or call 311 or 211, or contact your City Council representative. Volunteers are trained to decline any sort of payment or compensation. A simple wave of thanks is more than enough to show your Snow Angel that you appreciate their work.
— Amy Harris
Get Help Staying Warm
With more than 13 million Americans unemployed and the surge in medical expenses continually rising, there is a greater need than ever for home heating bill payment assistance, especially as winter hits.
Colorado’s Low-income Energy Assistance Program (colorado.gov/cdhs/leap). LEAP helps families, individuals and older adults pay a portion of home heating costs through a federally-funded, one-time heating assistance benefit.
“By easing the strain of heating bills on households, families and individuals don’t have to make a choice between buying groceries or critical medications,” said LEAP manager Theresa Kullen in a press release. Last year 76,000 Colorado households received with heating assistance.
Applications and assistance are available now through April 30. People can apply at local county offices, online at Colorado PEAK or by calling 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435). To qualify, a household’s monthly income must fall within 60 percent of the state median income level. Single resident households with a monthly income of $2,619 or less and households of four with a monthly income of $5,038 or less may qualify for assistance.
Other benefits can include repairs and replacement of a home’s primary heating system. For application questions, information about eligibility or the LEAP program, visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.
City Seeks Climate Advisors
The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency is seeking applications from residents who are interested in serving on Denver’s Sustainability Advisory Council (SAC) to help guide the implementation of Denver’s climate change-focused policies and programs.
In November, Denver voters approved Ballot Measure 2A to create the Climate Protection Fund, opening up a critical need to develop the fund’s first five-year strategic plan.
The SAC advises the Mayor’s Office on sustainability issues. Its primary functions are to:
— Provide advice and recommendations to CASR for advancing the city’s ambitious goals and effective implementation of the Climate Protection Fund’s five-year strategic plan
— Assist CASR in connecting with the people, communities, businesses, and institutions it serves.
— Promote and communicate the principles of sustainability broadly among the community and stakeholders.
The public is invited to apply to join one of the six standing committees, working with staff liaisons in these areas: Science and Research; Climate Equity and Environmental Justice; Buildings and Homes; Energy; Resource Management, and; Sustainable Transportation. The committee co-chairs will serve as voting members of the SAC, along with two at-large members and one member from Denver City Council. The SAC will meet at least quarterly and each committee will meet at least six times per year. It is anticipated that meetings will be held virtually (online) through most of 2021. Interpretation services will be made available.
Applications are due by Friday, Jan. 15 at 5 p.m. To learn more and apply, visit denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/climate-sustainability/about-us/where-we-get-input.html.
Sprucing Up City Park
City Park Friends and Neighbors is continuing discussions with the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation about volunteer opportunities in City Park. In the meantime, new CPFAN board member Kelly Crosby organized a park clean-up in December, with 27 East High students providing the labor. Principal John Youngquist gave the students a hearty send-off as the students, armed with Parks and Rec-issued buckets and grabbers, crossed the Esplanade and entered the park, spending the next few hours scouring the park for trash.
Adam Smith, the DPR Superintendent for the East District whose office is in the City Park pavilion, reports that staff has been slashed to 50 percent capacity. CPFAN is hopeful that there will be more ways its members, as well as all City Park-lovers can provide supportive services during the pandemic and beyond.
— Georgia Garnsey
TikTok For College Cash
The organization CollegeDrive Test Prep & Tutoring has launched its 2020-2021 CollegeDrive Scholarship Competition to award a scholarship of $1,500 to a student who plans to attend college in 2021. The deadline to submit scholarship applications is March 1; the winner will be notified by April 15.
Ben Baron, CollegeDrive’s CEO, describes the program as “a way we can encourage students to think about their future goals as they take their next steps in life.”
To compete for the scholarship, students must complete an application and submit a qualifying entry of either an essay or other creative expression posted on social media. Posts must be made on one of the following platforms: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, along with #CollegeDriveScholarship. Students are asked to describe a moral dilemma they have faced in their life and how they handled it.
For more information and complete competition rules visit CollegeDrive.com/scholarship.