British Columbia

Kamloops man using family minivan to transport people to homeless shelter

100 Mile House resident donates money for gas

Courtney Dickson - CBC News

November 10, 2017

Glenn Hilke, who's been driving the shuttle from the city's North Shore to the downtown shelter, said he needs someone to drive the vehicle, so he can focus on looking for people who need a place to sleep. (CBC)

A Kamloops man is using his family minivan as a shuttle to take homeless people from the city's North Shore to the Stuart Wood shelter in the city's downtown.

"From years of my work, working with people who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless, I kind of know some of the routes people travel and some of the haunts where they hang," said Glenn Hilke, volunteer coordinator with the Jubilee Urban Movement and Partners program.

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Hilke drives around for a couple of hours each night in search of people who he thinks may need a place to sleep.

But the excursions come with a price. Hilke has been footing the bill for gas himself, and he doesn't get paid for the time he spends searching the streets. He said he's currently working on finding funding and trying to recruit other volunteers to drive.

After hearing an interview with Hilke on CBC's Daybreak Kamloops, William Robertson of 100 Mile House phoned Hilke with an offer to help out.

"He sounded ecstatic," Robertson said of Hilke.

Robertson committed to donating $200 towards gas for the shuttle each month.

"The cost of fuel is ridiculous. It cost me $130 this morning to fill my truck."

Though Robertson has never personally experienced homelessness, he grew up watching his grandmother run a soup kitchen in the Fraser Valley.

"I had a friend who ended up homeless two years ago. This was in Vancouver, and for him to try and get somewhere was really hard," Robertson said.

"He was homeless for a couple months and couldn't get to a shelter half the time. He couldn't get there before the shelters were full or he just got there too late."

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