Compulsive Hoarding is a complex and stubborn mental health issue that reaches deep into the health and safety of communities. Its many challenging aspects adversely impact individuals, families, neighborhoods, businesses, and municipalities at multiple intersecting levels. Solutions often require incisive assessments and experienced resolution teams.
The Greater Portland Hoarding Task Force is a collaborative effort of numerous private and state agencies, government services, and community members concerned about the problem of hoarding in Maine. One of several such task forces nationwide, this group has been formed to improve the quality of life for those affected by hoarding through raising public awareness, increasing access to treatment, reducing the gaps in resources, educating service providers, and expanding the limited support options.
Established in January of 2012, the Task Force meets once every month and maintains a membership of approximately twenty stakeholders.
“Three features define compulsive hoarding: (1) the accumulation and failure to discard a large number of possessions that appear to most people to be of limited value, (2) extensive clutter in living spaces that precludes activities for which the rooms were designed, and (3) significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding (Frost & Hartl).”
"Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Some people also collect animals, keeping dozens or hundreds of pets often in unsanitary conditions.
People who hoard often don't see it as a problem, making treatment challenging. But intensive treatment can help people who hoard understand their compulsions and live safer, more enjoyable lives (Mayo Clinic)."
Due to Limited funding and personnel, we are not currently accepting new referrals for In-home assistance with hoarding. While our support groups are also currently full, referrals are being accepted for the wait list. We still have limited capacity for assessments, especially for legal purposes, and are currently recruiting volunteers and task force members.