Goals of the team
The goals of the Hoarding Action Response Team (HART) are:
- Improve the physical and mental health of people with compulsive hoarding issues
- Connect people with hoarding issues with other health resources
- Prevent evictions
- Prevent fires
- Ensure safer living environments
- Ensure the safety of first responders
How the team works with residents
Possible cases are referred to HART by Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, housing providers and landlords, strata and property management, neighbours and community members, Vancouver Coastal Health, utility providers, non-governmental health agencies, and other City of Vancouver departments.
The team visits the homes of residents who have been identified possibly being impacted by compulsive hoarding, and through relationship building and support:
- Conducts inspections
- Works with residents to prioritize the news steps that need to be taken
- Helps residents to organize and de-clutter their homes
- Refers clients to community resources
Who is on the team
The Hoarding Action Response Team has four frontline workers: two Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) mental health workers, one City fire inspector, and one City property use inspector.
City staff enforce Vancouver bylaws, while VCH mental health workers support and assist residents in organizing and de-cluttering their homes.
The team is supported by UBC research funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.