KAMLOOPS — Glenn Hilke is in the business of helping those without a home, running the JUMP program on the North Shore, serving meals all day to the people who need it.
Growing up in Brooklyn and in the non-profit sector his entire life, Hilke wants to bring that mentality to city hall as the next mayor.
"It's the waiting part that has really frustrated me and driven me to run for mayor," said Hilke, who started with the JUMP program on Royal Avenue five years ago. "We've had in our Kam Plan for a decade now we need more housing. I'm not just talking about affordable housing."
Hilke wants to reduce homelessness in the city, but also make housing affordable for everyone in Kamloops. Housing is Hilke's no. 1 priority.
"There are scenarios that I know about where people are literally taking 100% of their monthly income and putting it into their rent," noted Hilke. "So after that, you're left with nothing, and so you must come here for breakfast, go to the New Life Mission for lunch, go to the Salvation Army truck downtown for a sandwich."
Hilke says attracting more doctors, improving arts and culture, and revitalizing downtown are among other priorities.
But he says it's time to stop talking and simply act on issues such as affordable housing. To help back that up, he has boldly promised to donate his first year's salary of $100,000 to help the community.
"I'm calling it the 'Mayor's Challenge Fund Foundation,'" he said. "This one would be specific to issues that would be of assistance to people who are in most need. It could be children and youth-related and the themes can change from year to year."
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