Hoarding Services (HEAT)

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Hoarding Education & Action Team (HEAT)

HEAT was founded in 2012 and uses a collaborative approach to help people struggling with clutter and hoarding disorder in Greater Victoria. We also refer people outside Greater Victoria to local resources.

HEAT includes:

  • fire departments
  • Bylaw enforcement
  • Island Health services
  • SPCA
  • concerned non-profit groups
  • for-profit landlords
  • volunteers
  • de-cluttering services 

HEAT recognizes that hoarding exists in our communities and that it represents a significant health and safety risk for the hoarder, first responders and the community at large.

Our goals:

  1. Safety is the first priority
  2. Finding helpful resources for clients with a hoarding problem
  3. Maintaining ongoing support
  4. Keeping people in their homes
  5. To help you assess the problem and get assistance

HEAT Peer Support Group 

HEAT Online Support

HEAT also offers online support through the Vancouver Island Hoarding and Clutter Support Facebook group. After answering a few questions, potential members will be accepted and can both give and receive personalized support. This system will work similar to the in-person peer support offered within the Victoria area but be accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This will allow members of Island Health's more rural communities to access necessary support. This project was spearheaded and will be continually monitored by Megan Sabell and Murray Anderson, both of who have extensive experience helping those with hoarding behaviour.

Peer Zoom Meetings to Commence

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were no longer meeting in the face-to-face format, however we are excited to announce that we are moving forward with holding online meetings via Zoom starting April 7th 2021 at 3:00 P.M. These meetings are still free to attend, however you will be required to register by emailing cari.taylor@bccrns.ca. Once you have completed your registration, a link to the meeting will be provided. These meetings will continue to be held at 3:00 P.M. on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

For more information, please contact Dr. Eric Ochs eric.ochs@viha.ca.

This group is available for people with a hoarding condition and those who support them. Please be sure to read the following code of conduct before joining. 

Code of Conduct:

  1. Be respectful at all times; do not be abusive, judgmental or use foul language.

  2. Be supportive; try not to personalize feedback.

  3. Respect people’s privacy.

  4. No buying, selling, trading or promoting commercial businesses. 

  5. If in doubt or if you have concerns, contact an Administrator.

  6. Please limit content to clutter related topics only.

Please note that all HEAT Support Group Meetings are cancelled until further notice. 

Please check this website and our Facebook Group for updates.

We are a non-judgmental peer group, in a supportive environment, where we share struggles, strategies and victories with other community members. The group will be facilitated by peers with lived experience, who will share tips and tools for dealing with the emotional and physical aspects of a cluttered home.  The group will also receive additional support from clinical staff of Island Health (members of HEAT) when appropriate.

If you are affected by clutter, please come and attend this support group. We currently meet the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at Royal Jubilee Hospital (Eric Martin Pavilion) at 3 p.m.

As of January 15, 2020, we will also meet on on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 1125 Pembroke Street.

Hoarding Disorder Webinar

Presented by Dr. Eric Ochs of Island Health for Education and Training to the Residential Tenancy Branch of BC. This webinar is a clinically focussed introduction to the topic of HD, and how the Hoarding Education and Action Team (HEAT serves the Island Health region) responds to requests for service.


General Information on Hoarding Services (HEAT)

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Hoarding Education & Action Team (HEAT)


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