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June 17, 2015

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June 17, 2015
For Immediate Release

WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Manulife Centre for Community Health Research and Supportive Housing of Waterloo (SHOW) will host the Towards Hoarding-Responsive Communities Symposium June 18 and 19 at Laurier’s Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, 120 Duke Street, Kitchener.

The symposium will explore understanding and treating hoarding disorder, the role of emergency and enforcement services and family accommodation in problematic hoarding.

The event will open with remarks from Gail Steketee, dean, Boston University School of Social Work, and close with an ‘overview of clinical intervention for hoarding disorder’ public workshop.

The workshop will be taught by Steketee and Christiana Bratiotis, assistant professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Grace Abbott School of Social Work. Both are leading international experts in hoarding research.

More than 170 participants will attend presentations and meet to discuss forming a provincial hoarding network to coordinate resources, tools and information around hoarding behaviours.

“We look forward to exploring the possible development of a provincial network of service providers working in the area of hoarding,” said Ginette Lafrenière, associate professor of Social Work at Laurier and director of the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research.“We will be discussing the merits and challenges of this exciting new collaboration.”

The symposium event is supported by Supportive Housing of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as the Research Support Fund.

“Even if people can’t attend the event, we encourage them to get in touch with us,” said Gael Gilbert, executive director of Supportive Housing of Waterloo. “We need to work together to get people the help they need to live in safe, comfortable housing and share what works across Ontario.”

The Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work continues to integrate its work in the community. The Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) and the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research (MCCHR) are both involved in planning the hoarding symposium and working with community partners to engage in mutually beneficial university-community research.

For more information on the symposium, or to register for the workshop geared toward clinicians and social work students practicing to be counsellors, please contact Jen Gordon at For more information regarding hoarding, please contact Gael Gilbert through

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Dr. Ginette Lafrenière
Associate Professor
Faculty of Social Work
Director, Social Innovation Research Group

T: 519.884.0710 x5237


Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070



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