The woman agreed to let Vancouver social worker Keely Hale enter her Downtown Eastside room, on one condition. She begged Hale not to bring black garbage bags with her. On the verge of eviction because of debris that was piling up to the ceiling, she was terrified of being forced to throw it out. She said it would be like leaving behind pieces of herself.
“I had to visit her two times before we could talk about cleaning,” Hale, a tenant support worker, says. “Sometimes you go into places and the cockroaches are falling off the ceiling and covering the floors. It’s disgusting but you get used to it, because there’s a person in there that needs help.”
Welcome to the world of hoarding. It begins with clutter, which we all deal with. But excessive acquisition and failure to sort and get rid of stuff — newspapers, old birthday cards, ugly sweaters, even rotting food and dead cats — can grow into an ugly compulsion, rooted in mental illness..." More