This innovative pilot project sought to build capacity and knowledge on how to treat people who have issues with clutter in their home and suffer from persistent and severe mental illness and who live in supportive and supported housing in Ottawa. Two clutter coaches were specifically hired and trained for the implementation of this program.
The evaluation of this pilot project was completed by comparing pre and post intervention measures as well as qualitative interviews with participants and qualitative questionnaires with clutter coaches. Results demonstrated that participants experienced a significant improvement on all aspects of hoarding, including clutter, excessive acquisition, and difficulty discarding. Levels of improvement ranged from 34 to 47%, with a particularly strong improvement in the sanitation level of the home and in the ability to control new acquisitions. Participants overwhelmingly appreciated the services that were offered by the two clutter coaches and stated that they felt that they had improved over the course of the pilot project. There was a clear positive impact of the intervention both quantitatively and qualitatively.