The Sunday Magazine

B.C. builders give hoarders a new home — and a new start

The experts had thrown up their hands at the out-of-control hoarders, who were drowning in such things as Kleenex boxes, newspapers and egg cartons. Two builders in Chilliwack, B.C., came to the rescue.
From left to right: Pauline and Gary Jollymour. (Karin Wells)

Tony and Mark Gore are a couple of average guys from Chilliwack, B.C.; men in the building trades who have done well. Men with a compassionate streak, inclined to act more than talk about it.

Three years ago they bought a house in Washington state. It turned out to be a rat-infested hoarder house. The Gore brothers decided to help the woman who was living there, and wound up on the American TV show "Hoarding: Buried Alive."

Surveys say that two to five per cent of the population are hoarders. People with a compulsion to collect, and an inability to throw things away. Hoarding runs in families. It's now recognized as a difficult-to-treat psychiatric disorder and, often, a public health hazard.

When the show featuring the Gore brothers aired in B.C., the phone started ringing. Not surprisingly, there was a hoarder house in Chilliwack. It was the home of Pauline Jollymour, a tiny, strong-minded woman in her 90's, and her 
only child, Gary. He had lived with his mother all his life. 

The neighbours were beside themselves, the city had given up and Fraser Health, which provides health care services to the people of Chilliwack, refused to go near the place. 

Tony and Mark Gore befriended the Jollymours. After months of talking, mother and son let Tony and Mark clear out the old house and move them into a townhome the brothers own. 

Karin Wells's documentary is called "A Kind of Keepsake."

Click the button above to hear the documentary. 


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