In response to an inquiry regarding a homeless guy who died and his disabled parents do not have the funds to bury or cremate their son, First Call for Help staff sent this:
The general rule about indigent deaths is the municipality where the individual died is responsible for the burial (via Ohio state law http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/gp9.15). In Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland Dept. of Public Health administers the program. Municipalities may decide how to address this need, but they don't have to offer burial.
Attached is info. on the process in Cuyahoga County. The phone number to reach the Cleve Dept. of Vital Statistics is 216-664-2317. Note that if you call to leave a message, their voice mail does NOT mention indigent burial, but it is the office to contact. Also notice that there is no funeral available, just cremation services in Cleveland.
Also wondered if this person is a veteran. If so, might contact the Veterans Service Commission 1-866-915-8387. They do help with funds for an indigent veteran and the burial.
Finally, I have a call in to St. Ignatius to double check this, but my understanding regarding their pallbearer ministry is that they provide youth to assist with pallbearer duties, but typically do not have funds available to help.
Here is the specific listing in the database:
CLEVELAND CITY OF - DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH CLEVELAND CITY OF - DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH - DIVISION OF HEALTH - BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS
601 Lakeside Ave. Rm. 122 Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 664-2317 Voice
(216) 664-2315 Recorded Information Line
(216) 420-7596 FAX
CREMATION - INDIGENT DEAD
REQUESTED SERVICE: Cremation Services
(216) 664-2317 Voice: No mention of cremation on voice mail.
SITE DESCRIPTION:Maintains and issues certified copies of vital records for the city of Cleveland and most suburbs in Cuyahoga County.
HOURS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IS OPEN AT THIS SITE: M-F: 8:00am-4:00pm
TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS: Nearest intersection is Lakeside Ave. and E 6th St. There is public transportation to this site.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY: ALL services accessible or available. This site has an accessible restroom.
SERVICE DESCRIPTION: Provides cremation for deceased who do not have the financial means to pay for private death services. Will not supplement family's money. Viewing, burial, and memorial services are not available. Family of indigent deceased individuals has up to 90 days following cremation to claim ashes of the deceased.
HOW SERVICE IS PROVIDED: On-site. Dept. will arrange with private contractor to handle.
WHO QUALIFIES: Deceased individuals who do not have the financial means to pay for private services. Deceased must have had no life insurance and have been a resident of Cleveland for at least one year prior to their death.
HOURS OF SERVICE: M-F: 8:00am-4:00pm
FEES: Family of deceased individuals who were residents of the city of Cleveland may receive ashes free.
REQUIRED DOCUMENTS: None
HOW TO ACCESS: Phone for information and availability M-F: 8:00am-4:00pm.
SERVICE CONTACT PERSON: Senior Clerk
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