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A&E Network Celebrity with Heart to Help Kalamazoo

Matt Paxton - KzooConnect

It's rare that a local cleaning company can tout that they have a relationship with a celebrity - let alone having an outsider who is willing to help make their community a better place to live.

ServiceMaster of Kalamazoo owns those bragging rights. In 2013 ServiceMaster first hosted Matt Paxton, extreme cleaning expert from the A&E television network series "Hoarders". Paxton conducted a class for local insurance agents, followed by a public seminar with the general public about hoarding and its affects.

Helping families in Kalamazoo since1981, ServiceMaster believes strongly about giving back to the community, especially when it comes to fighting this ever growing issue. On staff they have four hoarding technicians that were certified and trained by Matt Paxton.

ServiceMaster of Kalamazoo has jumped-in and is sharing their passion for giving-back to the community! They are also a part of the Kalamazoo Hoarding Task Force (KHTF) established in 2015. This non-profit organization, includes more than a dozen community members devoted to finding solutions for hoarding in Southwest Michigan. The main objective of the KHTF is to spread awareness on the issue while sharing and researching possible solutions.

Currently it's estimated that 12-15 million Americans struggle with hoarding. Hoarding is described by the ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) as a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. The behavior usually has harmful effects that can be emotional, physical, financial, social and sometimes legal, for a hoarder and family members. For those who hoard, the quantity of their collected items sets them apart from other people.

In 2006, there was only an estimated 1-2 million people affected with the problem. So how is this incredible growth possible? Paxton explains that the numbers have jumped drastically because of two things: age and awareness. Unfortunately he believes hoarding is not a problem that is going away and will continue to get worse over time, especially if communities don't address the problem. Paxton looked to choose a company that he could partner with that was willing to adopt his core principles and values - not just a company wanting to capitalize on cleaning hoarded houses. He found that in ServiceMaster nationally.

One of Paxton's mottos is, "No judgment. Only compassion." He's worked with hoarders for 20 years, and has learned having compassion, integrity, and motivation to help people is critical. The underlying drive rests in helping people, not a drive in cleaning houses.

Here in Kalamazoo, ServiceMaster easily blended these principles with their business model and is spreading awareness which is the first step in addressing the growing problem.

Returning for a third time on June7th to Kalamazoo, ServiceMaster and Paxton will continue the quest for bringing awareness on the ever growing by conducting a CE class geared towards insurance agents, followed by a public seminar. Both classes will be held at the GKAR offices and are free to attend; seating is limited, so sign up quickly.

Hoarding leaves many people feeling trapped and hopeless on a daily basis, with no help, and no other way to live. However, in Kalamazoo and surrounding areas, an option for help stands out. Join the Kalamazoo ServiceMaster team, and be part of the movement that cares and wants to help raise community awareness about the effects of hoarding.
Here’s a sneak preview of Matt Paxton in Kalamazoo.

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