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10/01/2009 11:30 PM ID: 80934 Permalink   

Detroit so Broke They Can't Afford to Bury the Poor


The Wayne County morgue in Detroit, Michigan, has found itself out of funding to bury the county poor. In the morgue's freezer there are now 67 bodies that have been piled up, while the family and county can't bury them.

The record number of corpses lay unclaimed and likely not going anywhere soon. Albert Samuels is the chief investigator for the morgue and said in the 13 years he has been there this has never happened.

Wayne County is given a $21,000 budget each year to bury the dead; this year they ran out of funds in June. The state of Michigan has about $135,500 left for burial assistance out of the 4.9 million budget to help with indigent burials for the poor.

    WebReporter: TaraB Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
Let people arrange their own funerals, they could do it in a far cheaper way and do them they way they want.
  by: captainJane     10/01/2009 11:39 PM     
These are the people who are homeless, poor, have no family or unable to afford a burial. The morgue and the state offer funds to help those that are unable to bury someone. There has been so many deaths this last year that the morgue can't afford the cost to bury anymore.

I know I say Michigan is bad with the economy and everything and people shoo it off, but this is a glaring example of what is happening. Heck they are even having some problems in CA. The difference is there it costs 2 grand for cremation and 7 grand for burial. In Michigan it costs about $700 to cremate.

Here is a comment form the Chief ME
"One way we look back at a culture is how they dispose of their dead," said the county's chief medical examiner, Carl Schmidt, who has been in his position for 15 years. "We see people here that society was not taking care of before they died -- and society is having difficulty taking care of them after they are dead."
  by: TaraB     10/01/2009 11:47 PM     
  now wait a second  
700$ to cremate? I can cremate with a few logs and a lighter.
  by: fordrew11   10/02/2009 12:29 AM     
  Dig a ditch,  
dump them in. There is no social aid for this, so...obviously either the corpses remain frozen or corpses rot.
  by: H. W. Hutchins   10/02/2009 12:39 AM     
I can appreciate your enthusiasm but I believe that you would only end up with a badly burned corpse ready for Halloween. Now if you had a flamethrower, you'd be in business.
  by: John E Angel     10/02/2009 12:40 AM     
  We could...  
have a decent burial on our own, we do not need these people telling us what to do with our family and friends on their death.
Personally I would like my friend to make my box and my few friends to hold their own service. This we be much cheaper.

I hope you take the time to look at this link, it works with java.
  by: captainJane     10/02/2009 12:41 AM     
I don't think you understand what this means my friend. These are people that either have no one to claim the bodies or their family has to leave them there because they can not afford to bury them at all. The county isn't telling them what to do with the bodies, they usually have money to bury them but it has ran out.
  by: TaraB     10/02/2009 12:57 AM     
The Zombie Apocalypse location has been chosen.
  by: promontorium   10/02/2009 01:19 AM     
  Got it now.  
Why are they not asking for donations and maybe raise some cash that way. Holding fates and charity runs,
This is all just so sad, just trying to think of suggestions,the good thing is it has attracted the attention of the media, this may help.
  by: captainJane     10/02/2009 01:33 AM     
Promo- Yeah didn't you know Detroit is where everything starts? At least thats what we always say here LOL

Jane- It's ok I figured that I wasn't saying it right for you to know what I was trying to say. You have some really good ideas, but I don't see it happening. It is just another link in the destruction of a state with too much potential and too little people that care. Sadly the ones who don't care are the ones in the state government.
  by: TaraB     10/02/2009 01:51 AM     
  dig a hole  
how much does it cost to dig a hole. make it a mass berial. place bodies in cover. end of story. friends can come and say a few words.
  by: shannon853   10/02/2009 03:31 AM     
I think a lot of people are going to think of that as pretty cruel, but I don't really see why. I think cremation might be a better idea. Then do whatever one wishes with that.

Once we're dead, I believe our 'souls' are gone. When you finish the milk in a milk carton, you don't mourn it's emptyness and bury the carton, do you? Same should be said with bodies. Empty shells.
  by: vex   10/02/2009 04:57 PM     
  @shannon and vex  
Isn't there a sanitation issue with it as well? I thought there was a reason people could not just bury the dead because of the diseases and what not. Isn't that why they make a cement casket and then place the casket inside?

It reminds of the fact that in Virginia, cows must fenced off from any source of running water that does not originate from a man-made well. This is because of the unsanitary conditions that persist in these waters. This makes me sad for the cows who I am sure would just love to bathe in the water on a hot summery day.
  by: nimira     10/02/2009 06:32 PM     
1) I suggested cremation. Contamination issue resolved unless too much lye builds up--in which case sprinkle the ashes all over the place.

2) It's good environmental practice to keep 'dirty things' away from water sources (toxic waste, landfills, chemicals, etc). However if your concern is over cows being uncomfortable due to heat, how about reading up on the drugs they're pumping into cows to extract more milk? It's made their utters swell 5x their regular size and (I'd imagine) would be very painful for the cows. No matter tho, they'll all get hung by their ribs on big hooks and shot in the face with a METAL BOLT and turned into a Double Whopper with cheese.
  by: vex   10/02/2009 07:31 PM     
I know, I was just explaining why not just bury them in a big hole. Good thought on the cow utter tho, are humans really humane?
  by: nimira     10/02/2009 07:58 PM     
i know here the unclaimed corpses are cremated and are put onto a common graveside.
  by: vizhatlan     10/02/2009 09:36 PM     
creamation costs far more then digging a hole. common sense needs to be used as to where the hole is dug. reading some past entries, there have been some funeral homes just dumping bodies in the woods. as was said, the body is just a shell. a funeral is for the living not the dead. over seas during wars there are at times mass graves dug and many placed in them. there are always some city workers that are sitting with out assignments on some days. they can be put to work with trenchers digging a resting place that the city can select that is as safe as possible for a berial site.
  by: shannon853   10/02/2009 10:37 PM     
some states allow pine boxes or even cardboard caskets for burying people. as in businesses, a place to bury is all about location, location, location.....
  by: shannon853   10/02/2009 10:40 PM     
  @ burying  
They have specific laws about where and how a body may be buried and usually they put them in a cheap casket or creamate them. There would be less of a cost for creamation with the way the current law is written.

@shannon-"there are always some city workers that are sitting with out assignments on some days"

Last I heard Detroit had let go many of the city workers and the ones they have working aren't using much down time. Even of they were you would have another problem which is that the Union would never agree to using them to bury anyone since there are other union workers that have that specific job.

One last thing even if all the above was somehow put aside you forget there is no money to bury them and it costs money to dig a hole. Before anyone says it yes it does matter because they each have to be in a certain budget, even the general fund is tapped to pay for the overtime the police and fire are working because it would be too costly to hire more.
  by: TaraB     10/02/2009 10:56 PM     

The people claiming they can't afford to pay for their relatives to be buried are probably walking around in $100 sneakers and $400 leather jackets.

Think about it, if your brother, mother or uncle were in the morgue next to some one that was homeless, you'd probably do anything it would take to get them a proper burial.
  by: jakethemuss   10/02/2009 11:29 PM     
  and yet...  
and yet, they say the worst is over.
  by: HAVOC666     10/02/2009 11:32 PM     
"Think about it, if your brother, mother or uncle were in the morgue next to some one that was homeless, you'd probably do anything it would take to get them a proper burial."

Yes and most people do and I would do everything possible to not have my relative in that position. Of course I was raised that life insurance wasn't a silly want it was needed. The policy doesn't have to be hundreds of thousands either in fact it should be enough to cover burial costs first off and then if you need or want more get a second policy. I had my first insurance policy in my own name when I was 18, before that my parents had a small one through Gerber.

I know the one couple in this story said they had to take out a credit card with 20 something percent interest to bury another relative shortly before their aunt died. You are also talking about a state that is circling the drain unless something happens soon.

$100 sneakers and $400 leather jackets? Not everyone in Detroit is black or selling drugs. In fact many of the dealers are moving a lot of their drugs down here because it is near a major highway making it easier to get to Chicago.
  by: TaraB     10/02/2009 11:43 PM     
  Logical solution  
put them out with the trash when they croak.
  by: John E Angel     10/02/2009 11:52 PM     
you have never been in mamagement have you? i do not care if teh city is laying off. there is always some people that are not gainfully employed on any given day. that is a fact of business. and as you say the unions would rather a person be layed off then do any work at all that might cross a boundry. the backhoe cost every day it is in a city inventory. used or not. same with a worker. loo at an article where each and every day postial workers are put into a room and do everything from playing cards to reading books. union protection. time the unions need to look at a bunch of bofies and realize it is far better to get them buried then stay in a freezer. maybe if those bodied were laying on their front yards or in front of their apartments they would agree to burying them. but as you seem to defend, it is better to do nothing them to fix a problem.
  by: shannon853   10/03/2009 09:07 PM     
"but as you seem to defend, it is better to do nothing them to fix a problem."

Where the hell did I say to do nothing? Don't you put words in my replies, especially something that is total bullshit! I am really sick and tired of people trying to find hidden meanings in what I say or flat out lie about it.

"and as you say the unions would rather a person be layed off then do any work at all that might cross a boundry."

Don't twist my words because you can't come back with a valid reply. This is what I said.
"Even if they were you would have another problem which is that the Union would never agree to using them to bury anyone since there are other union workers that have that specific job."

It isn't about crossing a damn boundry it is each department is different and they have different jobs and job descriptions. Someone that is working on a road crew is not the same as someone who works in a city ran cemetary, hell you don't even know if the grave diggers are city employees, do you ever think about that?

Even if they COULD you then again have a problem of where to bury the bodies and no just digging a big hole to throw them in won't work. If you weren't too busy typing up flat out lies you might have seen or had a thought that made sense that it would be ILLEGAL to dump 67 bodies in a hole. Not even going to talk about how unethical it would be for the county medical examiners to release the corpses while knowing what would happen.

This is from the article itself. "Dozens of other bodies remain, some never identified. And they can't be disposed of until their families come forward or the county's burial fund is replenished when the 2010 budget is approved. There were 66 bodies before Aunt Nancy's, and they'll be interred on a first-arrived-first-buried basis."


And then this.
"And in a town with so much need, Schmidt noted one more cause for concern: The increase in unclaimed bodies is not due to an increase in murders -- though the rate remains high -- but due to natural causes. Schmidt speculated that many of the deceased didn't have health insurance or could no longer afford medication for the chronic medical conditions."

So now people are dying from diseases instead of murders in a town that has been devastated by the recession way before anyone had the cajones to admit it outside the state. THAT might be why the one family can't afford to bury their aunt so soon after having to bury another relative and had taken out a credit card with 20% interest on it. It isn't that they DON'T want to bury them, it is they CAN'T AFFORD to just like the City at this time.

  by: TaraB     10/03/2009 10:36 PM     
  0olimpics 2016  
how much did they waste on 2016 bid for olimpics?
  by: zortona   10/04/2009 04:55 AM     
  Couple of points here....  
The first is, that land should be for the living, it is time that the business of burial stopped altogether, for all people, and all religions, as well.

The second is that the bottom 20% of Americans have a net worth of less than $500, not even enough to bury themselves, and the second lowest 20% have a net worth of less than $1500, and these are the real figures for American poverty, so when we talk about this, it should also be said that this is in the richest nation in the world, and not in a reccession, but in the good times, what a record to be proud of, way to go America....

It is time we all asked ourselves, as a world, what is the best energy conserving method of dealing with our remains, and taking all into consideration the answer is cryomation, where the bodies are frozen and then put in a machine and ( a Rumbler ), and tumbled until they are completely turned into dust, ( at half the cost of cremation, as well, saving the cost of even the simplest coffin to boot ! ), this method infringes no ones religious beliefs, is more energy efficient than even burial in a shroud, and planting a tree over our mortal remains, it further allows for the remains to be recovered for their mineral content, so Detroit should consider this path as a way of cost effective disposal, as a beneficial way to deal with this problem, or if it does not, why do they not insure all their citizens against burial fees, if there is a market for this in England and America ( and there is, judging by the many companies that offer this service, buying this in bulk, would, as all bulk purchases do, cost less than the private citizen would be charged ), it should put aside cents annually for this payment,

LLoyds of London would gladly do the insuring, it would cost them pennies where they now pay out pounds.

Commonm sense, really....

Mind you, it might be better if America were a lot more concerned with the ostentatious display of it's upper levels of society, and the obscene costs of funerals in general, as well as the real poverty that so many live in in this land of the free, and the home of the brave....
  by: Active1   10/04/2009 10:35 PM     
  Soylent Green, anyone?  
"Hey Mom, what's for dinner?"
  by: White Albino   10/05/2009 06:12 PM     
  Why not just...  
give the cadavers to science?
  by: Riff   10/08/2009 07:03 PM     
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