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Unsung Heroes: Profiling a social advocate

Kamloops This Week salutes those who go above and beyond for the good of the community
Glenn Hilke
Glenn Hilke meets with some friends in downtown Kamloops during the summer of 2020.

Glenn Hilke is a social advocate and one of the lead organizers of The Loop drop-in centre, the COVID Meal Train — a meals on wheels program — and other initiatives to help those in need in Kamloops.

Last year, The Loop’s Tranquille Road drop-in centre was closed by the city, with the meal program continuing. The building also served as a warming centre during the recent cold snap.

“It’s feeding a couple hundred people throughout the city,” Hilke said of the Meal Train.

Hilke’s Facebook profile photo speaks to the passion and character of what makes him tick. It’s a meme that states: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

The drop-in centre has served as a space for the homeless and others to congregate and get water and meals, but has been the subject of numerous complaints related to people congregating, drug use and garbage left behind.

Hilke believes a healthy community includes all kinds of people with different stories, histories and values, and neighbourhoods that are diverse and inclusive.

The Loop is a place for people in the community who are struggling to make ends meet.

Those being helped include seniors, the unemployed, single moms, the disabled, teens in foster care, people experiencing homelessness and those struggling with mental-health and substance-use issues.

In a column published in the Aug. 2 edition of KTW, Hilke wrote of the city’s decision to remove its funding as the centre was closed: “Ironically, we [The Loop] have been chastised, demonized, penalized and ostracized, and had our funding removed, which was given to other agencies — all in the name of recognizing there is a grave need for more services on the North Shore and across Kamloops.”