OC Task Force on Hoarding

"A Collaborative Effort to Effectively Impact Hoarding"

The Orange County Task Force on Hoarding is a volunteer, advisory group that meets monthly to review existing residential hoarding situations that affect the health and safety of individuals in Orange County.

As such, the Task Force itself does not provide direct services for hoarding behavior but is comprised of representatives of agencies and programs that often are able to help.  Organizations that encounter hoarding situations are encouraged to bring challenging cases to the monthly task force meeting for review (confidentiality rules apply) with the goal of identifying strategies, developing plans and locating resources that may help bring about a positive outcome for all involved.  Individuals who encounter hoarding situations are encouraged to call their local code enforcement department, Adult or Child Protective Services as appropriate. County of Orange Adult Protective Services:  800 451-5155; Child Abuse Hotline:  800-207-4464

Hoarding

  • Persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions
  • This difficulty is due to strong urges to save items and/or distress associated with discarding
  • The symptoms result in the accumulation of a large number of possessions that fill up and clutter active living areas of the home or workplace to the extent that their intended use is no longer possible
  • The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (including maintaining a safe environment for self and others)

    This Full House brochure imagePossible Signs of Hoarding Behavior

    • Blocked entries and exits (doors/windows)
    • Narrow or limited pathways in the home due to accumulation of materials
    • Large piles of combustible materials such as newspapers, magazines, used food containers and rubbish
    • Excessive collection and storage of items in the residence or yard that interferes with the intended use of that space
    • Foul odors emanating from the home
    • Excessive amount of companion animals
    • Vermin and/or insect infestations
    • Spoiled and/or rotting food
    • Accumulated human and/or animal waste
    • Non-working or inaccessible utilities, such as heat, running water, sewer, refrigeration

    Participants in Orange County Task Force on Hoarding

    • Adult Protective Service Workers
    • Animal Control Officials
    • Senior Service Providers
    • Code Enforcement Officials
    • Health and Mental Health Professionals
    • Fire Department Representatives
    • Housing Representatives
    • Professional Organizers

    Task Force Goals

    • Education
    • Resource Development
    • Implementation of Effective Interventions

    Task Force Core Values

    • Respect the Individual
    • Hoarders are suffering from problems beyond their ability to cope or resolve without significant assistance
    • Causes of the behavior may be varied, multidimensional, and even multigenerational
    • Each individual requires a compassionate, individualized assessment and services
    • Hoarders deserve the same courtesy and respect that we ourselves expect

    Respond as a Community

    • Hoarding affects both the individual and the community and thus requires community response
    • Service Providers should be aware that there are a variety of community responders and work as a team in addressing issues related to hoarding
    • Service Providers should be knowledgeable of the multiple factors contributing to hoarding behavior and methods to effect positive outcomes
    • Forced interventions should only occur as result of severe health, safety and/or legal issues
    • Health professionals should always be with client during or immediately following forced interventions

    Task Force Meets Monthly

    The Orange County Task Force meets from 9am to 10:30am the third Thursday of each month in 2011 (with the exception of December-no meeting) at:

    Council on Aging-Orange County
    1971 E. 4th Street, Suite 200
    Santa Ana, CA 92705 - Map
    (714) 479-0107

    Third Thursdays in 2012: 

    January 19, February 16, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 18, November 15 (Dark in December).

    Online Resources

    For More Information on the OC Task Force on Hoarding:

    The Mental Health Association of Orange County
    822 Town & Country Road
    Orange, CA 92868
    (714) 547-7559