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Towards Hoarding-Responsive Communities Symposium

The Towards Hoarding-Responsive Communities Symposium was an attempt to bring together service providers from across the province from hoarding responsive networks (often composed of fire and police departments, social housing departments, landlords, municipalities and humane societies) with local and international academics. Over a two-day symposium, discussions were held about how different communities respond to hoarding, as well as the economic impacts of hoarding behaviour. Collaborative networks were developed to begin exploring a province-wide task force to address hoarding through a harm-reduction model.

The keynote speaker was researcher Gail Steketee, former Dean of the Boston University School of Social Work, who is a leader in hoarding and has published over 15 books and 200 articles on the topic.

The symposium showcased over a dozen workshops on topics such as: animal hoarding, trauma-informed practices, fire prevention and threat reduction, eviction and homelessness prevention, developing positive client relationships, family accommodation, developing a provincial network for service providers, perspectives from the front-line, an anthropological analysis of the role of professional organizers, and an introduction to the psychology behind hoarding and a viewing of the documentary My Mother’s Garden by Cynthia Lester. 


  • Buried in Treasures: An Overview of Clinical Intervention for Hoarding Disorder (Gail Steketee)
  • Eviction and Homelessness Prevention (Douglas Levitt)
  • Understanding and Treating Hoarding Disorder (Gail Steketee)
  • Family Accommodation in Problematic Hoarding: When Does Support Cross the Line? (Karen Rowa)
  • Hoarding and Professional Organizers: An Anthropological Approach (Katie Kilroy-Marac)
  • Fire Prevention and Threat Reduction (James Hind)
  • A Case Study from Waterloo Region (Kim Hodder & Linda Flemming-Hoarding)
  • Understanding Hoarding: The Case for the Integration of Trauma-Informed Principles in Practice (Laurie Robinson)
  • Understanding the Merits and Challenges of Collaboration: Exploring the Possible Development of a Provincial Network for Service Providers Working in the Area of Hoarding

Contact Us:

Ginette Lafrenière, MCCHR Director

T: 519.884.0710 x5237
Office Location: FSW 310