Detroit has long fascinated observers as a major city in political and economic meltdown. In addition to continual political scandals and corruption investigations of its leaders, Detroit has soaring crime and debt that are accelerating a downward spiral. Now, in something out of Roger & Me, the city is dealing with a massive stack of corpses as people abandon loved ones due to a lack of money to bury them.
There are currently over 70 bodies piled up in the mortuary — unclaimed by their families and friends in a city with an unemployment rate of 28 percent.
In June, the city’s $21,000 annual county budget to bury Detroit’s unclaimed bodies was exhausted. The City is currently short $300 million in its overall budget. Yet, families were unwilling to pay for burials and preferred for Wayne County to spend the $700 for a rough pine casket at a nearby cemetery and a marker. Now the city itself cannot afford the burials and has begged for private donations to help bury the dead.
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