Hoarding has received an increase in attention over the years, especially due to media exposure. As the knowledge and awareness of the hoarding condition expand, the methods to address the situations do as well. Some communities are taking action to increase awareness and improve methods of treatment, and the collaboration of the general public, private businesses, non-profits, and even government departments can lead to a change for the better for hoarding help.
In some locations, hoarding task forces developed in order to confront out of control hoarding situations. Hoarding task forces are coalitions formed through the collaboration between public and private agencies in order to assist with hoarding situations. The mission of such associations is to improve the outcomes of hoarding situations and minimize consequences and damages.
Hoarding task forces are armed with knowledge of the hoarding condition and anything relevant. Generally, monthly meetings are held and are kept open to anyone who is interested in attending, private and public alike. During such meetings, discussions can include methodologies to better handle hoarding cases, education on the condition, sources of treatment, existing residential hoarding situations, as well as other pertinent topics.
Some participants involved in hoarding task forces may include:
- Fire departments
- Police Departments
- Code Enforcement Departments
- Adult/Child Protective Services
- Department of Behavioral Health
- Animal Control Officials
- Professional Organizers
- Professional Cleaning Companies
- Mental and Physical Health Professionals
- Family members of hoarders
Generally, hoarding task forces seek to identify and understand hoarding behavior. In addition to understanding the signs, causes, and dangers of the hoarding condition, hoarding task forces also help to develop and maximize resources that can be utilized within treatment and education processes. By increasing awareness and understanding, these coalitions hope to breed compassion for the people involved in hoarding situations rather than contempt. With the involvement of hoarding task forces, proper treatment and response to hoarding situations may increase, and rather than temporarily suppressing a hoarding issue, the unhealthy hoarding behavior can be permanently subdued, providing a healthier, happier life for the people involved.