Bedford Receives Hoarding Education Grant

Submitted by Bedford Youth and Family Services

Mass Housing logoThe Bedford Hoarding Task Force (TF) is pleased to announce that their request to MassHousing for a Lee A. Mannillo grant to do hoarding training and education for the Bedford clergy and community leaders was successful. Health Director Heidi Porter, Council on Aging Director Lori Dance, and Youth and Family Services Director Sue Baldauf worked together on this grant application and are pleased to be able to offer Bedford clergy and staff, lay leaders, senior volunteers, and other community leaders this training opportunity.

The TF has been working with Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) Hoarding Intervention Coordinator Jesse Edsell-Vetter on training for Bedford’s regional providers – Eliot Community Human Services and Minuteman Senior Services – about the issues of hoarding and appropriate interventions in hoarding cases. MBHP suggested adding a Clergy and community training component to that work after members of the Bedford Clergy Association (BCA) approached the TF expressing interest in some training. The BCA regularly encounters instances of hoarding within their respective congregations and often are unsure how to address these issues. Having additional community members trained on how to help friends, family members, and fellow residents with potential hoarding issues and the sorting and discarding process will be beneficial to community health in the long run and the goals of the TF in general.

Bedford has seen a growing number of hoarding cases among residents 60 and over. The TF plays a key role in addressing those cases. Without grant funding such as this, the TF would not be able to provide these important services to the Bedford community. Further, many seniors look for meaningful volunteer activities, and training them to provide sorting and discarding assistance to other elders with potential issues of hoarding will help build relationships and decrease stigma associated with asking for help.

The training will be offered Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 from 12:00 noon to 4 pm in the Flint Room at Bedford Town Center on the second floor. MBHP’s Hoarding Intervention Coordinator Jesse Edsell-Vetter will provide training for Bedford leaders in basic instruction about hoarding and how local clergy and volunteers can help residents prone to hoarding.

In addition to representatives from the Bedford Hoarding Task Force, this training will be open to all church leadership staff as well as COA staff and volunteers. The training will be limited to 25 people and is free, covered through funding to the Bedford Hoarding Task Force from a Lee A. Mannillo grant from MassHousing in Boston.

RSVP to 781-275-6825 or to with name, title, and affiliation by December 1, 2014.

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