Frequently Asked Questions:

What is hoarding?

Hoarding behaviors are characterized by the following:

  • The acquisition of and/or failure to discard a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value
  • Living spaces that can’t be used for the intended purpose due to clutter
  • Significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding

What are some possible hoarding behaviors?

  • Blocked entries and exits due to the accumulation of large number of belongings (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, yard, vehicle 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

Who participates in our community?

  • Protective Service Workers
  • Animal Control Officials
  • Senior Service Providers
  • Code Enforcement Officials
  • Vector Control
  • Health and Mental Health Professionals
  • Fire Department Representatives
  • Housing Representatives
  • Professional Organizers & Cleaning Companies
  • Consumers
  • Family Members

What are our core values?

  • Respect the Individual
  • People who hoard are experiencing multiple issues which require the assistance of others to manage and recover
  • Reasons for the behavior can be difficult to identify, may be varied, and multidimensional
  • Each individual who hoards requires a compassionate, individualized assessment and services
  • People who hoard deserve courtesy and respect
  • Multifaceted Challenge
  • Hoarding requires an individual and community response
  • Service providers should be aware of the variety of community responders and work as a team in addressing issues of hoarding
  • Service providers should be knowledgeable of the unusual characteristics of people who hoard and methods to effect positive change
  • Involuntary interventions should only occur as result of severe health and safety and issues
  • Health clinicians should always be with client during or immediately following involuntary interventions

When and where do we meet?

We meet from 9am-10:30am on the third Thursday of every month (except December). The location is at the Council on Aging Orange County conference room at 2 Executive Circle, Suite 175, Irvine, CA 92714.