Cash Strapped Cemetery Gets Creative to Ward Off Vandals [VIDEO]

June 29, 2012
1 Comments
Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
CDFuneralNews
Advertisement

You may be interested

5 Ways to Build Your Business
News
214 views
News
214 views

5 Ways to Build Your Business

CDFuneralNews - 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 Groups
Funeral Industry Press Releases
114 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
114 views

Pinnacle Funeral Service acquires Two Wisconsin Funeral Groups

CDFuneralNews - 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 Mutation
Death Discussions
376 views
Death Discussions
376 views

NEW: Important Study Finds Formaldehyde Does Not Cause Cancer by Gene Mutation

CDFuneralNews - January 10, 2018

Report originally published by NFDA Recently, the Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced the results of an…

Comments