The Orange County Task Force on Hoarding does not provide direct services. The organization is comprised of representatives of organizations that can provide assistance to individuals dealing with hoarding behavior or with persons who have been diagnosed with hoarding disorder.
Organizations or individuals that encounter hoarding situations are encouraged to bring challenging cases to the monthly task force meeting for review. Confidentiality rules apply in regard to information presented at these meetings. The goal is to identify strategies, develop plans, and locate resources that may help bring about a positive outcome for all involved in a hoarding situation.
The Orange County Task Force on Hoarding meets on the third Thursday of every month except for December. Meetings are conducted virtually. A link to meetings is included in the Task Force’s monthly newsletter. A person can sign up to receive the newsletter by writing to [email protected].
Definition of Hoarding Disorder
As a prelude to discussing the workings of the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding, it is important to have an essential and accurate understanding of hoarding disorder in the first instance. Hoarding disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. This difficulty leads to the accumulation of clutter that interferes with the normal use of living spaces. People with hoarding disorder may also experience significant distress or impairment in their social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning as a result of their hoarding behaviors.
Mission Statement of Orange County Task Force on Hoarding
The mission of the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding is to provide a coordinated response to hoarding situations in order to protect the health and safety of individuals, families, and communities affected by hoarding behavior. The task force aims to provide education, resources, and support to those affected by hoarding and to promote compassionate and effective interventions to address hoarding behavior.
Goals of the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding
The Orange County Task Force on Hoarding enumerates four primary goals for the organization:
- Identify and understand the issues, difficulties and causes of human hoarding behavior
- Develop and maximize resources by collaborating and coordinating efforts
- Develop innovative and humane interventions
- Educate the public and service providers
A Collaborative Endeavor
More than anything else, the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding is deemed a truly collaborative endeavor. The collaboration begins with the fact that the Task Force is a joint effort between both Orange County’s Health Care Agency and the county’s Social Services Agency.
Beyond this basic collaboration between these agencies in Orange County, the alliance that underpins the Task Force includes other governmental entities that include:
- Orange County Fire Authority
- Orange County Sheriff’s Department
- Orange County Counsel
- Orange County Probation
- City of Anaheim Code Enforcement
- City of Santa Ana Code Enforcement
- City of Huntington Beach Code Enforcement
- City of Irvine Code Enforcement
- City of Orange Code Enforcement
- City of Tustin Code Enforcement
In addition to a broad array of different governmental agencies, there are other organizations that collaborate with the Task Force that include:
- Healthcare providers
- Counselors and therapists
- Hoarder property cleaning specialists
- Organization and decluttering experts
- Goodwill of Orange County
- American Red Cross
- Food banks
- Utility assistance programs
- Churches and other religious organizations
History of Orange County Task Force on Hoarding
The Orange County Task Force on Hoarding was established about a dozen years ago. The Orange County Task Force on Hoarding was established to identify and address the hoarding issue in the county.
The task force was established to provide assistance and resources to those affected by hoarding, including individuals and families who are struggling with hoarding behaviors. The task force works closely with community organizations, mental health professionals, and other stakeholders to develop effective strategies to address the issue of hoarding.
Hoarding is a complex issue that can have serious ramifications for those who are affected by it. It can impact an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as their relationships and quality of life. The Orange County Task Force on Hoarding recognizes the importance of addressing this issue comprehensively and compassionately.
The task force is committed to raising awareness about hoarding and reducing its associated stigma. The task force aims to empower individuals and families to seek help and support by providing education, training, and resources to the community. The task force also works to develop partnerships with other agencies and organizations to ensure a coordinated response to hoarding in the county.
Overall, the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding plays a critical role in addressing the issue of hoarding in the county. By providing support and resources to those affected by hoarding, the task force is making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and families throughout Orange County.
Essential Facts and Stats About Hoarding in Orange County
According to the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding, there are some key facts and statistics that need to be borne in mind in regard to hoarding and people with hoarding disorder in the county:
- According to the Orange County Health Care Agency, hoarding is the second leading cause of home fire deaths in the county.
- The prevalence of hoarding disorder in Orange County is estimated to be around 2 to 5 percent of the population.
- In 2019, the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding estimated that there were around 2,000 cases of hoarding in the county at any given point in time.
- Hoarding often leads to severe health and safety hazards, including mold, pest infestations, and structural damage.
- The Orange County Fire Authority responds to an average of 100 hoarding-related incidents each year.
- Hoarding can lead to eviction from rental properties, which can be difficult to overcome due to the lack of affordable housing in Orange County.
- Orange County Adult Protective Services received over 300 reports of hoarding in 2019.
- Hoarding often co-occurs with other mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.
- Hoarding can have a significant impact on family members and caregivers who may be responsible for cleaning up the hoarded items. This reality underscores the need for access to professional hoarding cleaning services.
Individuals who encounter hoarding situations are encouraged to call the below resources as appropriate: