Charlie’s Story

Charlie is 77 years old, he worked as a professional photographer in the North End of Winnipeg. He likely photographed every wedding, baptism and cultural event that took place within his community. Charlie had been incredibly active within his community, participating as a member of the professional businessman’s association. He spent his leisure time attending his grand-daughter’s dance and sporting events, including taking his granddaughters skating, to show off the speed skating skills that he had acquired as a young man. He also sang in a choir as he was an incredible tenor. Charlie could always be heard singing very loudly at all of his grand-daughter’s events where the national anthem was sung.

All of this came to an abrupt end when Charlie learned that his adult son had been murdered. If this wasn’t difficult enough, just over a month later his spouse, who had been in a nursing home also passed away.

Charlie had always liked to collect things and didn’t particularly like to throw anything away, but after these losses Charlie’s Hoarding Behaviour intensified. Charlie isolated himself from friends and family and his home became unsafe due to the amount of hoarded items which put him at risk for fire, falls, eviction, homelessness and even death.

Goal of Program

A & O’s This Full House Program is an innovative program that is the first of its’ kind in Canada. The agency’s Registered Social Workers provide support to older adults like Charlie experiencing Hoarding Disorder and squalor conditions. The goal of this program is to help older adults live safely in their homes

Problem (Stats)

On average the agency works with 350 older adults experiencing Hoarding Disorder / year. According to a recent report:

  • Approximately 5% of the population will experience Hoarding Disorder
  • This translates to over 40,000 Winnipeggers
  • 24% of deaths due to fire involve hoarding
  • Normal fire response time – 5 min
  • Response time where hoarding is involved – 1-2 hrs.

Think of all the Charlie’s in your life… if we don’t respond older adults may experience

Fire, eviction, homelessness and even death.

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge

Help us win $10K this month! Every $ you donate in June qualifies us to win $10,000! $10,000 can help save the lives of older adults living with Hoarding Disorder. 

Charlie's Story (Giving Challenge 60-second video spotlight)

Charlie's Story (1 min 45 sec video)

So what happened to Charlie?

Charlie has been working with an agency Social Worker toward the goal of making his home safe again. He has been able to regain and restore his relationships with friends and family and he has even started thinking about singing again!