December 20, 2014
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Tags: Health Care, Housing: Homelessness, Seniors, Veterans
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands
Gary Jackson is a ringer for Santa. He also has a hoarding disorder. He doesn’t have health insurance. He receives no assistance other than food stamps. Recently, faced with the threat of eviction and homelessness due to conditions in his home resulting from his hoarding behavior, Jackson received help from Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee. As a result, he was able to stay in his home, and Legal Aid is in the process of securing additional benefits for him. Once Jackson has insurance, his attorney plans to set Jackson up with counseling to help work though his hoarding.
The 14-day notice was ominous.
Gary Jackson, a man whose full white beard and kind blue eyes often inspire comparisons to Santa Claus, was going to be evicted.
For nearly 20 years, Jackson has played the part of the jolly old elf, ringing the Salvation Army bell up to eight hours a day during the holiday season and using his robust “ho, ho, ho” to collect change from passers-by.
But at home, away from the bustle of busy shoppers, Jackson’s collecting has manifested in a different way.
Jackson is an extreme hoarder, a condition that earlier this year put him on the brink of homelessness.