What is hoarding?

Hoarding is the process of acquiring and failing to discard objects that appear to be of limited value. It often results in living spaces becoming so cluttered they cannot be used as intended. Hoarding usually causes significant distress or impairment in functioning.

Individuals with hoarding behaviors account for two to five percent of the population—an estimated 23,600 to 59,000 adults in Philadelphia. While anyone can begin hoarding, risk factors for hoarding include:

  • A family member with hoarding behaviors
  • A co-occurring mental health disorder including depression, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity or alcohol/drug abuse.
  • A traumatic brain injury to the frontal lobe
  • A stressful life event trigger
  • A history hoarding behaviors in adolescence that may not become problematic until later in life.

Resources to Help

When a person has a problem with hoarding, it can be hard to know where to turn for help. Below is a guide to the immediate and non-immediate resources that may help a person with hoarding behaviors live a safer, healthier life.

If you have questions regarding hoarding-related resources in the Philadelphia area, please call one of two information lines based on the age of the person with hoarding behaviors:

Under 60 years of age: 215-751-1800

60 years of age and above: 215-545-5728

Immediate Services

Each agency has its own criteria for services; please follow up directly for eligibility requirements.

Non-Immediate Services

Each agency has its own criteria for services; please follow up directly for eligibility requirements.

Case Management
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility
Jewish Family and Children Services
Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Credit Counseling
Financial Empowerment Centers

Home Safety Assessment
Philadelphia Fire Department
National Association of Professional Organizers

Individual Therapy & Referrals
Finding a Therapist

Philadelphia residents receiving medical assistance or who are uninsured/underinsured:
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility

Philadelphia residents with private insurance:
Contact the private insurance company’s Member Services Department for guidance on accessing mental health services.

Veterans:
VA Hospital Mental Health Services

In-Home Care and Living Supports
PA Department Human Services Office of Long-Term Living

Other In-Home Services
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia

Peer-Led Support Groups
Clutterer’s Anonymous

Professional Organizing
National Association of Professional Organizers

Books and Websites

The books and websites listed here are excellent resources for people who are hoarding, their family members, friends and service providers.

For anyone

  • Stuff (Steketee & Frost) – An overview of hoarding with many easy-to-read stories written by two of the leading researchers on hoarding in the United States.
  • The Secret Lives of Hoarders (Matt Paxton) – An overview of hoarding and its many shapes and forms written by the featured organizer on the A&E show Hoarders.
  • International OCD Foundation – An overview of hoarding with information about the disorder, services and treatment.

For people with hoarding behaviors

  • Buried in Treasures (Steketee, Tolin & Frost) – A program that helps a person recognize his/her own hoarding behaviors and take steps to declutter his/her home.

For family members and loved ones

  • Digging Out (Tompkins & Hartl) – Strategies for engaging a loved one who struggles with hoarding behaviors.

For children who grew up in a hoarded home

  • Coming Clean (Miller) – Memoir of a woman who grew up in a hoarded home in New York.
  • Children of Hoarders – Information and support for people who grew up in hoarded homes.

For service providers

American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania

 

About
The American Red Cross of Southeastern PA provides food and shelter in emergencies, assists members of the armed forces and their families, provides disaster assistance and teaches lifesaving skills.
 
Accessing Services
American Red Cross of Southeastern PA
2221 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-299-4000
Website: www.redcross.org/pa/philadelphia
 
First Response
Provide immediate shelter for displaced households including pets.
 
Services/Resources
• Temporary and Emergency shelter, food, clothing, health and mental health services
 
Criteria for Services
Open to all regional residents directly impacted by a disaster or emergency.

Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT)

 

About
ACCT provides shelter, care, and veterinary services for homeless, abandoned and abused animals and protects the safety and welfare of Philadelphia’s citizens.
 
Accessing Services
Location: 111 W. Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140
Phone: 267-385-3800
Website: www.acctphilly.org

Hours of Operation
8am—10pm, daily

First Response
Respond to complaints of animals that exceed the number legally allowed in a Philadelphia residence (12) which may or may not involve hoarding.
 
Services/Resources
•    Animal sheltering
•    Animal placement
 
ACCT encounter situations either via a code violation complaint of too many animals or animal waste. They may also assist other agencies such as L&I, Police, Sheriff's Department and Fire when animals are present.
 
Service Limitations
ACCT cannot "seize" animals, which are personal property of the owner. In the cases of animal cruelty, ACCT refers to the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement.
 
Criteria for Services
ACCT provides assistance regarding animal related complaints and concerns for animals and residents within the City of Philadelphia.

Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE)

 

About
CARIE improves the well-being, rights and autonomy of older persons through advocacy, education and action.
 
Accessing Services
Location: 1500 JFK Blvd, Suite 1500, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215-545-5728 or 800-356-3606
Website: www.carie.org
 
First Response
Provide referrals to agencies for protective services, MH support, clean up/out help and other case management services.
 
Services/Resources
Referring people who hoard to resources/services.  CARIE provides information and referral services for any older adult issue.
 
Service Limitations
CARIE does not offer ongoing case management or home visitations.
 
Criteria for Services
As long as the caller is trying to help someone whois 60 years of age or older, CARIE will assist the caller.
 
Potential Negative Outcomes of Service Involvement
• Mandated reporters for vulnerable populations.

Clutterers Anonymous (CLA)

 

About
A peer-led support group for men and women with concerns with clutter.
 
Center City West Meeting
Location: Center City West, 19103
Wednesdays, 11:15am – 12:45pm
Contact: Diana 215-847-4006 or CLAPhilly@gmail.com for more information

Hope and Healing Meeting
Location: Westley Enhanced Living near Pennypack Park, 8401 Roosevelt Blvd
Directions: Take Outer Lane of the Blvd. Northbound to entrance.
Wednesdays, 7:30 pm – 9:00pm
Contact: 215-722-4859 Rita

Phone Meetings
Meeting Information: (866) 402-6685

Website: www.ClutterersAnonymous.org
 
Services/Resources
• Participation in a 12 Step program.
• No fees or dues.
 
Service Limitations
Not professional care. Peer-to-peer mentoring and sponsorship.
 
Criteria for Services
There are no dues or solicitation for donations. Participation is voluntary and open.

Community Legal Services (CLS)

 

About
Community Legal Services (CLS) is an independent 501(c)3 organization providing free legal services, in civil matters, to low-income Philadelphians. Since its founding, CLS has served more than one million clients who could not afford to pay for legal representation.
 
Accessing Services
Center City
Location: Center City: 1424 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215-981-3700
•    Private landlord/tenant – Monday & Wednesday, 9am-noon
•    Subsidized housing (Section 8, PHA, HUD) – Tuesday & Thursday, 9am-noon
•    SSI disability benefits appeals – Monday through Friday, 9am-noon
•    DHS cases (allegations of child abuse) – Monday through Friday, 9am-noon
    
North Philadelphia Legal Center
Location: 1410 West Erie Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140
Phone:     215-227-2400
•    Medical Assistance – Monday & Wednesday, 9am-noon
•    SSI disability benefit appeals – Tuesday & Thursday, 9am-noon
•    Long-term care – Monday & Wednesday, 9am-noon
•    Utilities (only after shut-off) – Tuesday & Thursday, 9am-noon
•    Homeownership – Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9am-noon
•    Debt Collection – Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9am-noon

Website: www.clsphila.org
 
Services/Resources
•    Legal representation
 
CLS can help clients to address specific legal problems that may develop as a result of hoarding.
 
Service Limitations
CLS can only provide legal services, and can only represent in civil cases where the client has defenses.  CLS cannot do direct services for the hoarding problems (clean outs, extermination, case management, therapy etc.) but can provide referrals.  
 
Criteria for Services
Client must be below or at 187.5% of thefederal poverty line and have a civil legal problem.

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS)

 

About
The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) is an integrated behavioral health care system comprised of the Philadelphia Office of Addiction Services, Office of Mental Health, Intellectual disAbility Services, and Community Behavioral Health.  DBHIDS components provide services through a network of agencies while collaborating with the Philadelphia School District, child welfare and judicial systems, and other stakeholders. Persons served are Philadelphia residents receiving medical assistance or who are uninsured or underinsured. Specific initiatives/services are available to all Philadelphians, such as crisis and prevention services. The DBHIDS embraces a vision of recovery, resilience, and self-determination.  
 
Accessing Services
Website: www.dbhids.org

Community Behavioral Health
A not-for-profit managed care organization responsible for the provision of mental health and substance abuse services for Philadelphia County Medicaid recipients.
Phone: 1-888-545-2600
 
Office of Mental Health
Plans, funds and monitors mental health services for more than 40,000 uninsured and underinsured adults and children. Services, which include emergency/crisis intervention, outpatient, residential and rehabilitative programs, are delivered by an extensive network of contracted community mental health centers or specialized health provider agencies across Philadelphia.
Phone: 215-685-5400
 
Office of Addiction Services
As the City’s Single County Authority for drug and alcohol programs, this Office plans, funds, and monitors substance abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support services in Philadelphia.
Phone: 215-685-5403

Behavioral Health Special Initiative
A program managed by the Office of Addiction Services, BHSI serves uninsured and underinsured individuals and families as a "safety net" for people who require drug or alcohol treatment services.
Phone:      215-546-1200
 
Intellectual Disability Services
Plans, administers, monitors, and coordinates services for over 12,000 Philadelphia citizens with an intellectual disability.
Phone:      215-685-5900
 
Acute Services Delegate Line (Emergency Response)
Phone:     215-685-6440
 
Crisis/Suicide Counseling Hotline
Phone:      215-686-4420

Crisis Centers
1.    Pennsylvania Hospital Crisis Response Center
Phone:     215-829-5249
2.    Mercy Hospital Crisis Response Center
Phone:     215-748-9525
3.    Einstein Hospital Crisis Response Center
Germantown Community Health
Phone:     215-951-8300
4.    Episcopal Hospital Crisis Response Center
Phone:     215-707-2577
5.    Friends Hospital Crisis Response Center
Phone:     215-831-2600

Case Management Services for persons with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia
Phone:     215-599-2150

Case Management Services for persons with addiction challenges
Phone:      215-546-6435
 
Services/Resources
Services provided to all residents of the City of Philadelphia include Crisis and Prevention Services.  Persons who receive Health Choices Insurance through Medicaid or who are Medicaid-eligible and have behavioral health challenges (either mental health or drug and alcohol related) may receive prevention, early intervention, emergency/crisis, behavioral health assessment, treatment and recovery support, in-home therapy (limited), and peer mentoring/individual support services through a network of providers.   Case management services, supported independent living and mobile psychiatric rehabilitation services are also available to persons who qualify further for these programs.
 
Service Limitations
Serves Philadelphia residents receiving medical assistance or who are uninsured/underinsured.

Participation in services is voluntary with the exception of crisis services.  Persons in hoarding situations will quite often refuse services or may not open the door for the mobile crisis team in an acute crisis situation.  Persons with private insurance will be referred to their health insurance member services department for access to services through that insurer.

Financial Empowerment Centers

 

About
Philadelphia’s network of Financial Empowerment Centers provide free high-quality, one-on-one financial counseling with professionally trained counselors to help clients transition from debt management to savings.
 
Accessing Services
Website: www.phila.gov/fe
Schedule an appointment by calling 855-FIN-PHIL (346-7445)

Congreso Headquarters
216 W. Somerset Street, Philadelphia, PA 19133
 
Municipal Services Building Concourse Level
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19103
 
Community College of Philadelphia, Center for Business and Industry
1751 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
 
Community Legal Services
1410 W. Erie Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19140
 
Germantown Life Enrichment Center
5722 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144
 
People’s Emergency Center
3939 Warren Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
 
The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
1617 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19103
 
First Response
Provide financial counseling and next steps to financial independence and security.
 
Services/Resources
• Debt reduction and savings plans
• Improve credit
• Create a budget
• Open a bank account
• Start an emergency fund
 
Criteria for Services
Open to all Philadelphia residents.

Finding Donation Organizations

Organizations frequently change their policy as to what they do and don’t currently accept. It is always good to call them and discussed what you have to donate before scheduling a pickup. Keep in mind when you are selecting items for donation that all organizations are looking for items in good working order and or new or lightly used.

General Donations
Goodwill
215-463-5054
2601 Front St
www.goodwill.org

Impact Thrift
610-239-9848 or 215-957-6131 Ext #1 for scheduling
Various locations
Impactthrift.org

Project HOME
215-232-7272
1515 Fairmount Ave
www.ProjectHome.org

Restore for Habitat for Humanity
215-739-9300
Can schedule pickup
www.habitatphiladelphia.org/donate-restore

Salvation Army
215-483-3340
Various locations, Will schedule pickup
satruck.org

WhoSoEver Gospel Mission
215-438-3094
6515 Rising Sun Ave
101 E Chel ten Ave
Will schedule pickup
www.whosoevergospel.org

Book Donations
Books Through Bars
215-727-8170
47th and Baltimore
www.booksthroughbars.org

Finding Extermination Services

 

Extermination can be difficult in a home that has excessive clutter. Some providers of extermination services will not provide any services in a hoarded home because the conditions may prevent the effectiveness of the extermination.  However, some providers will assess a hoarded home and outline needed preparation efforts.

Tips for Finding A Pro

1. Always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company. Consider asking to see the license or other credentials of the pest control professional that comes to solve your pest problem.

2. Evaluate pest control companies that are members of national, state or local pest management associations.

3. Consider an NPMA QualityPro company. Visit www.npmaqualitypro.com for more information.

4. Ask friends and neighbors to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.

5. Be wary of the exterminator who comes to your home uninvited and offers to give your house a free inspection for pests. He or she may try to scare you into authorizing immediate and costly treatments.

6. If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest management companies.

7. Don't rush a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge as well as skillful application of pesticides, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.

8. Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the household pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.

9. Find out if the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.

10. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary.

11. Buy value, not price. Beware of exterminators that offer bargains that sound too good to be true.

12. Homeowners can call state pest control regulatory agencies for information regarding the status of pest management companies. In Pennsylvania the regulatory agency is the PA Department of Agriculture.

The Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force does not endorse any specific companies that provide extermination services.  However, the following extermination companies have either partnered with Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force member agencies or requested permission to be listed on this site:

It is our hope that the companies listed on the website will show sensitivity and patience to people who struggle with hoarding behaviors by helping them prepare for extermination and rid their homes of pests.

Finding Heavy Cleaning Services

 

For Philadelphia residents cleaning out themselves, the City of Philadelphia Streets Department sets the following limits: Non-recyclable rubbish cannot exceed six 32-gallon receptacles or 12 plastic bags or an equivalent combination of the two.  There is no limit on recyclables.  If a property exceeds set out limits, a fine will be issued.

Sometimes it is necessary to hire heavy cleaning services to comply with health and safety standards. The Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force does not endorse any specific companies that provide heavy cleaning services.  The following cleaning and restoration companies have either partnered with Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force member agencies or requested permission to be listed on the Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force website.

It is our hope that the companies listed on the website will show sensitivity and patience to people who struggle with hoarding behaviors by helping them clean out their homes with dignity and respect.

Finding a Therapist

 

Finding a therapist with expertise and experience in treating hoarding disorder can be difficult. Treatment for hoarding usually involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for hoarding and/or harm reduction techniques. Additionally, a therapist who has experience in working with trauma and has training in dialectical therapy and family therapy is ideal.  

Treatment will often involve in-home therapy, can occur in individual or group settings as well as in the form of self –help groups (in-person or web-based) and will span over a period of time. If you are unable to find a therapist with experience in treating hoarding, a therapist with experience in obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety disorders may be helpful.  

Below are questions you may want to ask a potential therapist:  
•    What are your credentials? Are you licensed? How many years have you been in practice?
•    What are your areas of expertise? What is your training and background in treating clutter/ hoarding? What approach do you use in treating hoarding? Be cautious of therapists who say the use CBT but cannot be more specific. Make sure they can explain how CBT can specifically address hoarding issues such as using motivational interviewing, exposure/response prevention and skills training.
•    Do you do in-home visits?
•    What are your fees? What types of insurance do accept? If the therapist is not covered by your insurance, some therapists operate on a sliding-scale fee policy, were the amount you pay depends on your income.

To locate a therapist, check with your insurance company or employee assistance program for someone with expertise with treating hoarding. The following organizations have available a therapist locator database on their websites for therapists who identify themselves as specializing in treating hoarding:
•    The International OCD Foundation - www.ocdfoundation.org
•    The Anxiety Disorders Association of America - www.adaa.org
•    The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies - www.abct.org

You can also locate a therapist through local, state and federal associations.  
•    Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists - www.philadelphiapsychology.org
•    Pennsylvania Psychological Association - www.papsy.org
•    National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter – www.nasw-pa.org or www.helpstartshere.org/find-a-social-worker
•    Pennsylvania Counseling Association - www.pacounseling.org or www.nbcc.org/CounselorFind/PA
•    Pennsylvania Association for Marriage and Family Therapy – www.pamft.com or www.therapistlocator.net
•    Psychology Today - therapists.psychologytoday.com

The Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force does not endorse any specific providers who provide therapy to people with hoarding behaviors. However, some therapists in the region have partnered with Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force member agencies or requested permission to be listed here:

Anxiety & OCD Treatment Center of Philadelphia, 1845 Walnut St, 15th Fl, (215) 735-7588
Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, Dr. Marla Deibler, Cherry Hill, NJ (856) 220-9672
Center for Mindful Exposure, Dr. Christine Molnar, Abington, PA    (267) 287-8347

It is our hope that you will find a therapist who will be knowledgeable about hoarding disorder and the interventions that can address hoarding behaviors.


Health Minds Philly

 

About
HealthyMindsPhilly.org is an online tool and resource to support and improve the mental health and well-being of all Philadelphians. DBHIDS has combined its behavioral health care and intellectual disability services into one complete system as part of its public health strategy and approach.

DBHIDS employees embrace a vision of recovery, resilience, and self-determination. We continue to move to a model of care led by the person in recovery. In this model, professional treatment is one aspect among many that supports people in taking care of their own conditions while building their own recovery resources. This recovery process should be viewed as a lifetime journey.  HealthyMindsPhilly.org seeks to help others, help themselves in order to achieve this goal.

Accessing Services
Website: www.HealthMindsPhilly.org
 
Services/Resources
• Mental Health Screening and Referral
• Mental Health First Aid
 
Criteria for Services
Anyone with internet access can get mental health screening and referral information here.

Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS)

 

About
Jewish Family and Children’s Services provides a diverse array of services to help children, adults, seniors and families cope with challenges that arise through the lifecycle. JFCS’s staff of fully licensed clinical social workers are committed to providing quality services, compassionate support and solutions that work.
 
Accessing Services
Multiple Service Locations, including NE Philadelphia and Center City
Main Office: 2100 Arch St, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone:  866-532-7669 or 267-256-2000
Website: www.jfcsphilly.org
 
Services/Resources
• Clean-out
• Extermination
• Case Management
• Credit Counseling
• Limited Financial Assistance
• Supportive Counseling
 
JFCS has limited funds for Jewish clients to pay for a clean-out or extermination.  JFCS can also provide case management to assist in goal setting.  
 
Criteria for Services
JFCS provides services to Jewish individuals, ages 18 and older, in the greater Philadelphia region, who are typically in a financial crisis or at risk of eviction.

Mental Health Association of Southeastern               Pennsylvania (MHASP)

 

About
Since 1951, MHASP has been a regional leader in transforming mental health services to be more responsive to the individual and family members. MHASP works to create opportunities for resilience and recovery for its clients.

Accessing Services
Main office location: 1211 Chestnut St, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-751-1800 or 800-688-4226
Website: www.mhasp.org  

Services/Resources
Consumer Advocacy
Provides Information and referral for professional and supportive services for persons with a mental health disorder.
Contact 215-751-1800 x 3892

Family Support Services (Training & Education Center)
Provides Information, support and referral services to family members of adults with serious mental health challenges.  Also provides training & education programs for professionals and community organizations.
Contact 215-751-1800 x 3865 or tecinfo@mhasp.org  

Service Limitations
Mandated reporters for vulnerable populations.

Criteria for Services
Consumer Advocacy - over 18
Family Support (Training & Education Center) – family/friend of consumer over 18

Service Hours
Monday – Friday – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Mission First Housing Group

 

About
Mission First (formerly 1260 Housing Development Corporation) develops and manages affordable, safe and sustainable homes for those in need.
 
Services/Resources
• Case management for residents
 
Mission First provides regular scheduled extermination services to residents. Resident Services Department provides case management services and can refer residents to other resources and services. Through unit inspections, Mission First staff are able to identify residents who are struggling with hoarding behaviors.
 
Accessing Services
Housing application or referral from one of our agency partners
Resident Services are available by referral from a Property Manager.
 
Main office location: 2042-48 Arch St, 2nd Fl, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-557-8414
Website: http://missionfirsthousing.org

Service Limitations
Limited training on hoarding and limited access to resources.
 
Criteria for Services
Must reside within one of the Mission First housing units.
 
Potential Negative Outcomes of Service Involvement
• Removal of animals
• Removal of children
• Eviction
• Involuntary hospitalization

National Organization of Professional Organizers (NAPO)

 

About
The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is a group of approximately 4,000 professional organizers dedicated to helping individuals and businesses bring order and efficiency to their lives.
 
Accessing Services
NAPO professional organizers can be searched for by location and by specialization on both the national and local websites: www.napo.net and www.napo-gpc.org.

Additional resources available at the Institute for Challenging Disorganization challengingdisorganization.org 

First Response
Most NAPO organizers will have some type of intake session with new clients, generally over the phone. Some offer free or paid in-home assessments to decide whether and how they can help the client de-clutter and manage their environment. Chapter members who work with people who hoard will sometimes refer them to seek care from a mental health practitioner. Organizers can determine what resources, if any, they have already accessed, and work with them to form and implement a plan of action based on their unique situation.
Services/Resources
• Clean-out
• Professional organizing
• Referring with people who hoard to resources/services
• Home Safety Assessment
 
NAPO provides certified professional organizing services by people trained to work with people who hoard.  A professional organizer primarily supports a client in managing and improving environmental issues related to disorganization. 

Suggested Questions for a Potential Professional Organizer

  1. What kinds of organizing projects do you do?
  2. Who is your typical/usual client?
  3. What services do you specialize in?
  4. Do you have any training or hold any certifications in organizing or related areas (chronic disorganization, coaching, feng shui, interior design, etc.)?
  5. Can you describe your organizing process/approach (consulting, coaching, hands-on, team organizing, seminars/workshops, etc.) and describe a typical working session?
  6. How long have you been in the organizing business?
  7. Will I work directly with you, or will you assign an employee and/or subcontractor?
  8. What is your fee structure?
  9. Do you work with a written contract?
  10. What is your cancellation policy?
  11. Can you provide references?
  12. I have tried to get organized before. How will this be different?

Keep in mind that your choice of a professional organizer is not irreversible. Professional organizers should be nonjudgmental, encouraging, and supportive. They should be good listeners and recommend a variety of suggestions, alternatives, and solutions to create the system that will work best for you. If you begin working with a professional organizer and decide along the way that you are not comfortable with his or her particular style, you are rarely under obligation to continue the relationship. Be sure to let the organizer know how you feel. More than likely, he or she will be happy to recommend a colleague.

Service Limitations
NAPO professional organizers can neither provide a clinical diagnosis for someone with Hoarding Disorder, nor any legal Home Safety assessment.  Services and assessments are based on general information, training and studies and are used as a means to support each client in de-cluttering their homes and addressing health and safety risks.
 
Criteria for Services
There are no qualifications for hiring a NAPO professional organizer.

Office of Supportive Housing (OSH)

 

About
The Office of Supportive Housing can provide short-term accommodation for individuals and families to resolve an immediate housing crisis, assess level of need and homelessness, and provide case management assistance in obtaining appropriate shelter placement.

Accessing Services
Emergency Housing Intake: 215-686-7150

During Regular Business Hours
Families/Single Women
Office of Supportive Housing
Apple Tree Center
INTAKE: 7am-3pm, Mon-Fri
1430 Cherry St., 215-686-7150, 7151, or 7153

Single Men
The Roosevelt Darby Center
INTAKE: 7am-3pm, Mon-Fri
802 North Broad St. 215-685-3700
Single Men

After Hours
Families Only
Red Shield Family Residence
INTAKE: After 3pm, Holidays, & Weekends
715 N. Broad Street, 215-787-2887

Single Women Only
Gaudenzia’s House of Passage/Kirkbride Center
INTAKE: After 3pm, Holidays, & Weekends
48th St. and Haverford Ave (48th Street side
entrance), 215-471-2017

Single Men Only
Station House
INTAKE: After 3pm, Holidays, & Weekends
2601 N. Broad St. (rear entrance) 215-225-923

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Office of Long-Term Living

 

About
The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) helps to coordinate long-term living services for people over age 60 and adults with physical and developmental disabilities throughout Pennsylvania.  OLTL helps coordinate access to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Programs to allow eligible individuals to remain in their homes rather than enter an institution.

For people with hoarding behaviors, HCBS waiver programs may provide much needed supports including skilled nursing coverage or personal care assistance.  Eligibility is based on a person’s level of functioning, a person’s financial criteria and the waiver program’s capacity to take new applicants.
 
Application Process
Initial Assessment (Maximus or PCA)
Physician Certification
Level of Care Assessment (Usually PCA)
Financial Eligibility (Usually County Assistance Office)
Final Approval (Office of Long-Term Living)

Accessing Services
Maximus is the independent enrollment broker for consumers under age 60 with physical or intellectual disabilities who are seeking services from HCBS waiver programs in Philadelphia.  To schedule an assessment for services, contact Maximus at 1-877-550-4227.

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) is the enrollment broker for consumers age 60 and above who are seeking services from HCBS waiver programs in Philadelphia.  To schedule an assessment for services, contact PCA at 215-765-9040

For more information about home care services, contact the Office of Long-Term Living.
Long-Term Living Helpline Toll free 1-866-286-3636
Office of Long-Term Living Bureau of Individual Support 717-787-8091
Website: www.ltinpa.com
 
Criteria for Services
Must be Pennsylvania resident and at or below the eligible income requirements.

Pennsylvania SPCA

 

About
The Pennsylvania SPCA was the second humane organization to be founded in the United States. Their animal shelters house rescued animals while they recover from neglect and abuse and wait for a new home.
 
Accessing Services
Location: 350 E. Erie Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134
Animal Cruelty Hotline: 866-601-7722
Phone: 215-426-6300
Website: pspca.org
Email: info@pspca.org
 
Services/Resources
• Clean-out
• Case management
• Identification of homes of people who hoard
• Animal sheltering
• Animal placement
 
The Pennsylvania SPCA is an animal shelter with humane law enforcement officers that can provide housing and medical care for the animals, law enforcement services, and animal removal assistance.
 
Criteria for Services
More animals in the home than is allowed by law; unsanitary/unhealthy conditions, injured or neglected animals.

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging Older Adult Protective Services

 

About
The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) is a private, non-profit organization serving as Philadelphia county’s area agency on aging since 1973. PCA’s mission is to improve the    quality of life for older Philadelphians or people with disabilities and to assist them on achieving high levels of health, independence and productivity.

PCA’s Older Adult Protective Services Department provides the resources to intervene when an older adult is abused, abandoned, neglected or financially exploited. The department investigates more than 2,000 reports of abuse and neglect annually.
Older Adult Protective Services provides the resources to detect, prevent, reduce or eliminate:
•    Self-neglect
•    Neglect by a caregiver
•    Physical, sexual or psychological abuse
•    Misuse of the older adult’s money or personal property
•    Abandonment
 
Accessing Services
Main office location: 642 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone:  215-765-9040
Website: www.pcacares.org
 
Services/Resources
•    Clean-out
•    Extermination
•    Case management
•    Legal representation
•    In-home health care
•    In-home activities of daily living support
•    Referring with people who hoard to resources/services
 
Service Limitations
With the exception of case management and in-home services for daily activities, the services listed above are only available through Older Adult Protective Services
 
Criteria for Service
Age related: Client must be 55 plus and/or 60 years old depending on the service.
Client must live in Philadelphia and be at imminent risk, incapacitated and lack a responsible care giver.  PCA conducts an assessment to determine needs of client.

Philadelphia Fire Department

 

About
The mission of the PFD is to serve the public by providing comprehensive all hazard prevention, risk reduction, and emergency response.
 
Accessing Services
Location: Headquarters at 240 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia PA 19123
62 Neighborhood Fire Stations

Phone: 215-686-1382 or 215-686-1300

Website: www.freedomfromfire.com or www.phila.gov/fire

First Response
In addition to Fire Suppression and Emergency Medical Care, the PFD will provide home safety inspections, and referral to appropriate associated agencies.

Services/Resources
• Emergency Housing and Services
• Home Safety Assessment

Refer people who experience difficulties with clutter to appropriate resources and services.
The PFD can install smoke alarms and provide home safety education and inspection.

Service Limitations
The PFD does not offer ongoing case management.

Criteria for Services
The Philadelphia Fire Department serves everyone in the City of Philadelphia regardless of age, gender, race, language, or level of ability.

Senior Law Center

 

About
SeniorLAW Center is a nonprofit organization which improves the lives of older Pennsylvanians and protects their rights through legal representation, education and  advocacy.
 
Access
Pennsylvania SeniorLAW Helpline
Phone: 1-877-PASR LAW (1-877-727-7529) or 215-988-1232
 
Locations
• Haddington Multi-Services for Older Adults 5331-41 Haverford Avenue, West Philadelphia (19139) Phone: 215-472-6600
Services provided the third Wednesday of every month
 
• Mann Older Adult Center 3201 North 5th Street, Kensington (19140) Phone: 215-685-9844
Services provided the second Monday of every month
 
• Norris Square Senior Citizens Center 2121-37 N. Howard Street, North Philadelphia (19122) Phone:215-423-7241 or 215-423-7242
Services provided the Third Thursday of the month
 
• Juniata Park Older Adult Center 1251 East Sedgley Avenue (19122) Phone:215-685-1490
Services provided the first Wednesday of the month
 
• Northeast Older Adult Center 8101 Bustleton Avenue, Northeast Philadelphia (19152) Phone:215-685-0576
Services provided the fourth Wednesday of the month
 
Services/Resources
• Direct and limited individual legal representation
• Legal advice
• Counseling
• Information and referrals
 
Service Limitations
Serves walk-ins for emergencies only during the imminent loss of home. Otherwise, appointments must be made.
 
Criteria for Services
Serves senior citizens.

Vector Control

 

About
Vector Control works to remove and control pests that can interfere with healthy living.  Vector is a technical term for an animal or insect that carries and transmits a disease.

Services/Resources
Rats - Vector Control responds to complaints about rats in residences and outdoors. Our environmental health inspectors will inspect the site, provide treatment for the problem, and make recommendations to keep residences rodent free. We also respond to reports and questions about mice, roaches, ticks, fleas and other pests.  

Insects - Vector Control investigates and control disease-carrying insects, like mosquitoes, that can transmit the West Nile Virus. We investigate and treat stagnant pools and standing water where mosquitoes can breed, and help individuals learn how to protect themselves and their homes from mosquitoes.  

Vector Control removes low-hanging wasp/hornet nests from curbside trees and treats roaches in public sewers. They also respond to reports and questions about other insect problems, and provide insect identification.

Accessing Services
General Number and Rat Complaint Line: 215-685-9000
Mosquito Complaint Line: 215-685-9027

Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center

 

About
The Veterans Multi-Service Center provides veterans with employment training and educational services to all honorably discharged veterans. Social and human services including counseling and referrals are also provided.
 
Accessing Services
Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center
213-217 North 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
 
Phone: 215-923-11673
 
Website: www.philavets.org
 
Services/Resources
• Job training and placement
• Permanent and transitional housing services
• Legal counseling referrals
• Assistance with medical and disability claims
 
Criteria for Services
Open to all honorably discharged veterans.

VA Medical Center Mental Health Services

 

About
The Philadelphia VA Medical Center provides consultation, evaluation and treatment for issues that impact emotional well-being.
 
Accessing Services
Philadelphia VA Medical Center
3900 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104
 
Phone: 215-823-5808 x 5808
 
Website: www.philadelphia.va.gov/services/Mental_Health.asp
 
Services/Resources
Provides counseling services and psychotherapy for qualifying veterans.
•    Talk therapy
•    Group therapy
 
Criteria for Services
Open to all honorably discharged veterans.

Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia

 

About
The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Greater Philadelphia is the largest non-profit home health and hospice provider in the region. The VNA is Medicare Certified, licensed by the State of Pennsylvania and Accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program.
 
Accessing Services
Location: 3300 Henry Avenue, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19129
Intake/Referral Center: 215-473-7600
Website: www.vnaphilly.org
Email: help@vnaphilly.org
 
First Response
We provide mental health nursing services (home care) and make referrals to other organizations as needed.
 
Services/Resources
• Case management
• Individual therapy
• In-home health care
• In-home activities of daily living support
• In-home therapy
• Peer mentoring/individual support
• Mental Health Assessment
• Home Safety Assessment
 
Trained and certified mental health nurses provide mental health therapy, home physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology and home health aide and make referrals to other organizations on a as needed basis, such as adult protective services, PCA, assist in connecting patients with other services above which we do not directly provide. We also provide home visiting doctor services and hospice services at home and inpatient level of care at our 3300 Henry Ave location. The VNA’s service area is Philadelphia, Lower Bucks County, parts of Delaware County and eastern Montgomery County.
 
Service Limitations
The VNA only serves adults 18 and above for home care.
 
Criteria For Services
For home care and home visiting doctors, patients must have difficulty leaving their home due to mental or physical reasons. For home care, patients must have some sort of skilled home care need, which would include a mental health need. VNA will contact the physician regarding home care orders.