APD developed the Hoarding Response Team (HRT) in 2011, in partnership with the Arlington Health Department and the Arlington Fire Department. The goal of the HRT is to provide needed intervention and referrals for people in cases involving hoarding or squalid living conditions. Various representatives participate in on-going strategic planning for the initiative, while the on-site HRT is comprised of two Health Department inspectors, the JDC, and a responding police officer.
Through this initiative, all APD and Arlington Fire Department first responders receive specialized hoarding training, which includes instruction on use of the Homeless Operations Management and Evaluation System (HOMES) Homeless Services Assessment Form and processes for making referrals to the HRT.
The HRT is strengthened by the team’s community contacts, including representatives of Senior Protective Services, housing agencies, professional organizers, and clean-up contractors. These diverse connections, along with specialized hoarding training for first responders, enable the HRT to meet the specific needs of each case.