Ministers Decry Lack Of Funds To Bury Indigent

CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of Chicago ministers wants the governor and state lawmakers to come up with more money for the burial of the indigent.

As it stands now, just under $2 million is set aside this fiscal year for the burial of the indigent in Illinois – for their funerals and the burial costs.

Last fiscal year, more than $12 million was set aside.

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And a group of Chicago ministers, led by Pastor Roosevelt Watkins of Bethlehem Star Church at 92nd Street and Cottage Grove, is predicting dire consequences.

“Where will the dead bodies go? This becomes a public health issue when we have individuals who have no place to be buried,” Watkins said. “Poor people deserve to have dignity, deserve to be respected.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services says state money was used to bury 12,000 men and women last fiscal year.

Gov. Pat Quinn says he believes a decent funeral is something everyone deserves. He says he’ll look at the budget to see how much was cut from a program that pays for funerals and burials for the poor.

  • Gene

    I once heard a suggestion that sounded pretty good. If you bury them standing up, you can fit alot more in one plot. This will save taxpayers alot. Who really cares once they are dead, their souls have left them. Another good suggestion is, anyone who is doing the complaining, ministers or who ever, can pay for the burials.

  • What!?!

    While I’m sorry that this is happening, the fact of the matter is that there isn’t any money. I wonder if these ministers have read the news recently? Illinois is having a little cash problem right now. If there isn’t any money to hand out, there isn’t any money to hand out. Sorry. This is yet another sign of things to come due to the fiscal irresponsibility of our local/state/federal governments.

    • Jane

      Good lets let you be the first example.

      • What!?!

        @ Jane – Wow, that’s a really mature response. “let you be the first example”….what will I be an example of? Impressive verbal skills that you have (not). Tell you what, the state of Illinois is broke (read the news and you’ll learn that), so if you want these people buried, you pay for it. I pay quite enough taxes as it is, I’m not giving another dime.

  • Sick of it.

    How about you quit shooting each other? I’m so sick of these folks. They are the armpit of today’s society.

  • Mike Puffer

    It’s easy for people to have a “diginified burial” with someone elses money. And this after a life most likely spent at the government teat. When my parents died and had no money and no insurance we ( the kids) paid for the burial expenses.
    The thought of getting some governmental agency to pay for it never crossed our minds. The reason governments are broke is because hey provide too many services that shouldn’t ever be provided or paid for. Enough is enough.

    • Jane

      They deserve a burial as much as the politicians can spend the tax dollars as they wish – equal rights for everyone.

  • Mr. Justice

    People, People, People! The state of Illinois does not have the funds to bury people. ACTUALLY, it is the church’s responsibility to care for the orphans, widows, homeless, and the poor. If these ministers ever read their Bibles, they would see that they and their church are to shoulder the responsibility. Back in the early 80’s, Mayor Koch of New York sent a letter to every church and religious center in New York telling them “the church” is to feed and take care of the homeless. But then again, not many people read their Bibles anymore. Though I do not support Governor Quinn on many political issues, I do hope he will stand his ground and say NO. Plus, its a lot cheaper to cremate the bodies anyways. I am not attempting to be insensitive in this “PC” world, its just the fact.

  • Jane

    People People it is not a church’s responsibility. The politicians can have money for what they want, but not for anyone else – DAMN cooks in office!! Just sit the dead bodies out on a freeway and let the State deal with it!! You can bet they would do something then!!!!

    • Mr. Justice

      @ Jane…..Obviously, you are one of the individuals who do not read their Bible. It is not the State’s responsibility to bury the dead. It is actually the families responsibility, but then if the family can’t do it, the church should do it. But then again, you might be one of those people who do not support their church by giving their 10% back to the Lord.

    • Jane

      s/b CROOKS in office –

  • Jmason

    like just take some the money from food stamp and other wellfare and us that money for the poor dead and not anymore taxes money

  • bob

    There’s no money for anything. They raised taxes to pay for pub workers to retire at 52 years old and give them 75% of their pay in addition to raises. Maybe they can find money for the dead if they get some guarantees they’ll vote democratic, which they usually do.

  • Sure LEDs' Blog » Blog Archive » LG Genesis (U.S. Cellular)

    […] Ministers Decry Lack Of Funds To Bury Indigent A group of Chicago ministers wants the governor and state lawmakers to come up with more money for the burial of indigents. Read more on CBS Chicago […]

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