What is the WGHN and how did it get started?

In 2010 a committee of community stakeholders began meeting to better understand and respond to situations of hoarding. The network was then formed in 2011. In 2011 the network held a Community Forum to better understand the complexity of hoarding and the needs/concerns of our community related to hoarding. They had the opportunity to provide input and the consensus was that the community must build a collaborative response.

Three distinct committees emerged from this forum: the Hoarding Network Committee, The Hoarding Education Committee and the Hoarding Multidisciplinary Team which began meeting to work collaboratively in early 2012.

The WGHN has adopted a harm reduction (HR) approach to hoarding. HR focuses on three facets: safety, health, and comfort. There are other approaches out there, but research and experience tells us that a harm reduction approach better supports an individual. The WGHN recognizes that while full clean ups of a home are sometimes necessary, a harm reduction approach can be used to reduce clutter and prevent a crisis situation or after a full clean out as a maintenance plan for that individual who struggles with hoarding.

The WGHN currently focuses on information sharing, education and building collaboration within the community. The network is not an access point nor do they accept referrals or direct cases related to hoarding situations.