Cash Strapped Cemetery Gets Creative to Ward Off Vandals [VIDEO]
Article provided by LAtimes.com
In exchange for a roof over his head, a cash-strapped police department in Northern California has recruited a homeless man to be the caretaker at a vandalism-prone cemetery.
The city of Marysville, about 45 miles north of Sacramento, has sustained $28,000 in damage over the last year at its historic cemetery. Now, Donald “Shortstack” Oliver will live in a city-leased trailer on the property and try to deter any future vandalism.
“I never thought in my lifetime I’d be overseeing a graveyard, but hey, the good Lord has his ways,” said Oliver, 58.
He said he has been homeless for three years but has spent much of that time trying to aid fellow homeless people and Marysville police. He is now to entrusted oversee gravestones that date to 1850.
“You should respect the people who are buried here. Each life, every headstone has a story. It represents a life that’s been lived and you should respect that,” said Oliver.
Roberta Shurtz and volunteers from the Marysville Cemetery Commission are restoring old grave sites. She hopes that Oliver’s presence will deter the vandalism problem that has plagued the cemetery for years. Shurtz said the last time there was an on-site caretaker was about 20 years ago.
“We’re hoping it will prevent future vandalism,” said Shurtz.
Oliver has already cleared away years of brush in his first week on the job. He’ll keep a watch out for vandals at the cemetery, which is next to a high school and popular bike trail, and call police if he sees anything suspicious.
“It’s like a step up for me because I’ve been homeless. I got something to do now that’s worthwhile,” said Oliver.
Police say they hope his mere presence will deter people from illegally entering the property after hours.
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- 5 Ways to Build Your Business - January 12, 2018
- Pinnacle Funeral Service acquires Two Wisconsin Funeral Groups - January 11, 2018
- NEW: Important Study Finds Formaldehyde Does Not Cause Cancer by Gene Mutation - January 10, 2018
You may be interested
5 Ways to Build Your BusinessCDFuneralNews - January 12, 2018
A death has occurred. There are two primary roles in this transaction—family member and funeral professional. Each player has needs,…
Pinnacle Funeral Service acquires Two Wisconsin Funeral GroupsCDFuneralNews - January 11, 2018
West Bend, Oshkosh and Omro, WI – Pinnacle Funeral Service is proud to announce its recent acquisition of Phillip Funeral…
NEW: Important Study Finds Formaldehyde Does Not Cause Cancer by Gene MutationCDFuneralNews - January 10, 2018
Report originally published by NFDA Recently, the Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced the results of an…