Hoarding informational workshops scheduled in Pierce County

Reality television shows have helped expose hoarding, a condition that afflicts more than a million Americans.

But the simple solutions spotlighted on those shows don’t often solve the long-term problems that are the root of the malady, local experts say. Curing hoarding can take years.

Shedding light on the problem and the real-life solutions is the subject of a half-dozen workshops, “Hoarding: The Hidden Problem – Exposed,” scheduled throughout Pierce County in January.

Those workshops — presented by Pierce County’s Community Connections Aging and Disability Resource Center, Clutter Cutters and the King/Pierce County Hoarding Task Force — will explore the facts and myths of hoarding, its causes and conditions, community resources and remedies, and what families can do.

“While television has brought hoarding into our living rooms,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources, “the fact is that the problem and the solutions are much more complicated than any one-hour program can show. Behaviors are developed over many years, and the legitimate and lasting cures will also take years to progress. It’s important for families and friends to go beyond the surface and look long and hard at the problem and the remedies.”

The workshops will be held six times in January:

▪ Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m. at University Place Library, 3609 Market Place W. in University Place

▪ Jan. 13, 12:10 p.m. at the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave., Seventh Floor in Tacoma

▪ Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m. at the Graham Library, 9202 224th St. E. in Graham

▪ Jan. 15, 12:10 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S. 35th St. in Tacoma

▪ Jan. 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Sumner Library, 1116 Fryar Ave. in Sumner

▪ Jan. 23, 9:30 a.m. at the Soundview Building, 3602 Pacific Ave. S. in Tacoma

The workshops are free and open to the public. No reservations are required. For more information, call 253-798-4600.

John Gillie: 253-597-8663