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. Our services are completely voluntary and therefore require the consent and participation of the individual struggling with clutter or hoarding behaviours. 

HEAT includes:

  • Island Health services
  • Fire departments
  • Environmental Health & Safety
  • SPCA
  • Concerned non-profit groups
  • Volunteer services as available
  • Decluttering services provided by private companies are at a fee set by the company

HEAT recognizes that hoarding exists in our communities and that it represents a significant health and safety risk for the person struggling with clutter or hoarding, their families, first responders and the community at large.

Our goals:

  1. Safety is the first priority. We work collaboratively with the individual and appropriate professionals, such as fire prevention officers, to address immediate health and safety concerns
  2. Supporting clients in learning and applying decluttering strategies
  3. Connecting clients with local resources and supports
  4. Maintaining ongoing support
  5. Keeping people in their homes

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 screening questions to assure the group is appropriate and to protect the purpose and participants of the group, 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 by Megan Sabell and Murray Anderson, both of who have extensive experience helping those with hoarding behaviour, and is continuously monitored by Megan Sabell. 

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. These meetings are still free to attend, however you will be required to register by emailing heat@islandhealth.ca. Once you have completed your registration, a link to the meeting will be provided. These meetings will continue to be held at 3 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

For more information, please leave a message on the HEAT Hotline at 250-361-0227 and a member of the team will return your call. 

This group is available for people struggling with clutter or hoarding behaviours. Unfortunately, we do not have regular groups to support families and other involved individuals at this time. 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

Please note that all HEAT services are entirely voluntary. We use a collaborative and person-centered approach and therefore absolutely require the consent and participation of the individual experiencing clutter or hoarding behaviors.

Although we do work with many people experiencing concurrent mental health or substance use disorders, we do require that individuals be psychiatrically stable and abstain from using substances during appointments with HEAT so that the individual is able to safely and effectively participate in goal setting, planning and decluttering. 

If you are requiring support for any mental health or substance use concern other than clutter or hoarding behaviours, please contact the CARES clinic at 250-519-3485 to speak with an intake clinician about appropriate supports available to you. 

If you are in need of immediate assistance due to a mental health crisis, please call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888.

General Information on Hoarding Services (HEAT)

Referral Required?
Not required
Contact Us

Hoarding Education & Action Team (HEAT)



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