Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Inc.

Impact Stories: Hoarding Intervention & Treatment

Meet John

John, a 65 year-old veteran of the Vietnam War, has battled with severe obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression for much of his life. Then, in August 2016, John was the survivor of a brutal unprovoked attack, leaving him physically unable to care for himself and his home. 

John’s physical and mental health struggles manifested into a hoarding disorder. The condition of his home became so dangerous that he was issued an eviction notice. With nowhere else to turn and facing homelessness, John came to Catholic Charities for help.

With the support of Carla, Director of Hoarding Intervention Services, the court delayed the eviction. Carla and her team worked around the clock to remove safety hazards from John’s apartment and established a six-month care plan.

John’s physical wounds have healed and he receives needed therapy to cope with his mental health issues. Today, John is living a happy, healthy and independent life.

Meet Dorothy


Dorothy was on the verge of being evicted and homeless because of excessive clutter in her apartment. In July, she received a non-renewal notice from her landlord and reached out to Catholic Charities. After a string of bad luck and health issues, she developed a hoarding disorder, which created tension between her and her landlord after multiple failed inspections. Dorothy was not one to typically ask for help, but when she was facing homelessness and had nowhere else to turn, she turned to Catholic Charities.

The hoarding intervention team moved quickly and set up a plan. Our Home Coach helped Dorothy de-clutter her apartment; our Behavioral Health Therapist helped her reflect on her hoarding and learn a new maintenance and organizational routine; and our Case Manager convinced Dorothy’s landlord to give her a short grace period on her lease. Within a couple months, Dorothy’s apartment was back up to code and she passed her inspection.

She was rewarded for her hard work with a new yearlong lease!

Meet Clarice & Andrew

When it was time for Clarice and Andrew to bring their newborn daughter home from the hospital, their nursery room was uninhabitable. Bags filled with cartons, cans, and bottles were piled to the ceiling. Like their anxieties about being new parents, the couple ignored their clutter behind a locked door. As a result, the Public Health department would not allow their baby to be released from the hospital. They gave the couple the number for Catholic Charities’ Hoarding Intervention and Treatment Program, and Clarice made the call immediately. 

Working alongside the couple, our team helped to declutter and clean. They helped Clarice and Andrew develop new home cleaning habits, and introduced coping skills to reduce anxiety.  After a couple of weeks, their home was declared safe to bring their baby home. “The most helpful part of Catholic Charities’ service was the kindness we were shown,” said Clarice. 


Catholic Charities

Mailing Address: PO Box 070912
                            Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Delivery Address: 3501 S. Lake Drive
                             St. Francis, WI 53235

Office Locations and Phone Numbers

Serving our neighbors in need in Dodge, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha Counties.



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