Health and safety advocates share insight after hazmat is called to ‘hoarder’ house in Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Adult Protective Services has advised neighbors to keep looking out for one another after a hazmat team responded to a home that neighbors say has been on the decline for years.

Cody Minze, the program administrator for APS, says hoarding is just one of the many situations his agency responds to.

Other cases it will investigate include various health and safety concerns, such as a person’s home being without water or electricity, or an elderly or disabled person being taken advantage of for their finances.

“We want to know are they in harms way? Are they in need of food, shelter, water, substantial medication,” said Minze.

Once a report is made, Minze says, an investigation must begin within 24 hours of it being called in. It is during this time that investigators determine how dire a living situation is and how soon it should intervene.

APS partners with many other community-concerned organizations including Meals on Wheels Plus of Abilene. Executive Director, Betty Bradley says many of her volunteers are on the front line when it comes to finding and reporting poor living conditions in the area.

“They’re trained to look for signs of neglect, abuse and exploitation. Neglect can be neglect by others and it can also be self neglect,” said Bradley.

Minze and Bradley both stress that individuals have the ultimate decision to decide whether they will accept help from responders, unless court ordered, but regardless neighbors should always report any concerning conditions.

“Even if they’ve called before or someone else has called, call again. We want to help that’s our mission here is to help keep vulnerable citizens safe in our community,” said Minze.

The APS hotline number is 1-800-252-5400

Bradley encourages anyone interested in volunteering with Meals on Wheels Plus, Inc. to visit its headquarters at 717 N. 10th street in Abilene or call (325) 672-5050

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