City’s SPIDER Program Expected to be Up and Running in Next Couple Months

Program will provide a coordinated approach to dealing with hoarders

With news of another horrible hoarding situation in Toronto requiring officials to move in and clean house, many are wondering what’s happening with the city’s SPIDER program. 

SPIDER (Specialized Program for Interdivisional Enhanced Response) was approved by City Council back in December as a way to get all of the necessary city agencies on the same page when it comes to problem hoarders. 

“They’re all working on these issues in isolation, but we know these are really complex problems.  They affect residents, they affect the neighbours, there are health issues, but there are also environment issues.  The goal here is to have a table, a problem-solving table, where the experts can sit down together to map out a strategy that will ideally provide a better response for residents so that we’re not getting to the kind of crisis situations that we’re experiencing or have seen this week.” Said Kelly Murphy, a Policy Development Officer with the City of Toronto.

On Monday firefighters and public health officials moved in on a home on Beech Avenue near Kingston Road where neighbours say they’ve been complaining to the city for years about a problem hoarder.  At one point last year, 50 felines were taken from the residence, but the problems with hoarding and fire hazards due to all of the garbage inside the home, continued.   On Tuesday officials wearing hazmat suits continued with the clean-up efforts. 

Murphy says the city will be hiring staff for the SPIDER program this month as coordinators work on issues like privacy laws.  The program is expected to be up and running in the next couple of months.

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  1. Peter posted on 05/13/2014 04:51 PM

    That is an awful name to pick for a program.
    It's not only a negative sounding name, it is a misnomer making people
    believe it has something to do with spiders.

    A better name for the program would have been:
    AFIX - for "All divisions Fix problem".

    If I had more time I could think of even better, smarter names.

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