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VIDEO: Candidate Sacheen Collecutt runs for Kelowna council as part of the 'Spirit Alliance'

The problems of homelessness and crime in Kelowna have frustrated local leaders for years.

Council candidate Sacheen Collecutt says it's time for some new solutions.

"Whatever strategies they were implementing, they haven't been working," said Collecutt. "So we really need a new approach."

The new approach is being presented as the 'Spirit Alliance'.

She and fellow candidate Chris Williams are running under the Spirit Alliance banner electoral organization.

"The idea behind the Spirit Alliance is that there is a team of people working together," said Collecutt, "like a multi-disciplinary team of people that can address the immediate issues within Kelowna."

She said 15 years of working with vulnerable people as a mental health counsellor will help.

"There's gaps to be filled," said Collecutt. "I do believe that we will be able to assist the homeless people in getting off the streets and address the opioid epidemic."

She said the new approach is urgently needed.

"I feel like the mental health crisis is at an all-time high right now," said Collecutt, "and it's not getting any better and because of that, crime is increasing."

She said dealing with mental health will take care of a lot of other problems.

"Crime is just a symptom of other issues that we really need to address."

Collecutt credits the previous council for its efforts in getting people into supportive housing, but says it's not enough.

"I think also, as a whole, we need to look at affordable housing for people," she said.

"The cost in Kelowna," Collecutt said, "it's difficult for people to really survive and thrive."

She has plenty to say but closed our interview with a promise to listen.

"I don't think that people have really been heard over the past few years," said Collecutt."

It appears that there will be just two candidates running as part of the 'Spirit Alliance' group.

To check out all of the candidates, visit KelownaVotes 2022.

Voting day is Oct. 15.

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