A Texas man has been forced to sleep on his roof because inside the home is so cluttered it has become uninhabitable. Over the last decade this hoarder, whose name has not been released publicly, has received innumerable complaints and warnings about the garbage outside of his home from officials and neighbors. He has even served time in jail for not complying with the order to clean up his mess.
According to neighbors of this hoarder living on Klondike Street the man has been sleeping on his roof for at least a year. He created a sleeping contraption with some type of flimsy shelter and a ladder which gives him access to the roof.
This week after fire inspectors found his home to be a safety hazard a warrant was issued to the hoarder to clean up his filthy home. It will take about three days to clean up the outside property. After the initial clean-up process a lien will be placed on the property to pay for a thorough cleaning.
This is reminiscent of the TLC’s television show Hoarding: Buried Alive. On this show an invasive experiment follows the lives and struggles of people with a disorder characterized by the inability to let things go.
The official definition of hoarding is a pattern of behavior characterized by the excessive acquisition of and the inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that would seemingly qualify as useless or without value. Compulsive hoarding behavior has been associated with health risks, impaired functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on friends and family members.
The interesting thing about every episode of the show is the stories associated with the victims. With each hoarder it seems they fail to see the snowball effect happening in their lives. Nearly all of them had no tendencies to hoard early in life; it was something that happened as a result of a mismanaged transition or tragedy.
The statistics are not concrete surrounding how many suffer from compulsive hoarding. The primary reason is because it is a disorder people are often too ashamed to seek help for. Here are three things that characterize the journey of hoarders:
- Hoarders do not usually start off with the disorder: By paying attention to the narrative, many will find these people had a normal upbringing. It was not until some disappointment or trauma that they turned to hoarding as a way to gain control.
- Hoarders become blind to the effects of their behavior: There is always the sad moment in the episode when a close friend or family member is pleading with the hoarder to stop. What began as an intervention quickly escalates to a confrontation. During this uncomfortable stance the hoarder starts to defend the reason behind their behavior as opposed to acknowledging where they really are and how it is affecting others.
- Hoarders must make a choice before they can really be helped: A choice is an open door to a new reality and is not as simple as it sounds. Each individual is presented with the opportunity for a fresh start. If they take it, resources show up and helping hands are dispatched to get rid of the clutter. If not, they are free to live as they have. The choice boils down to whether they will choose the dysfunction over their freedom.
In life the power of choice is always there but it also obligates people to live with the consequences of those choices. In Texas a man has chosen to sleep on the roof of his home as opposed finding the mental help he needs to clear the clutter of his uninhabitable residence. Whether the victim has been officially diagnosed or not it is obvious he possess characteristics relative to a disorder known as hoarding. The hoarder was served a warrant ordering him to start cleaning up his property located on Klondike Street.
Opinion By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)