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Funerals for Homeless

The challenges of financing a funeral and the use of crowdfunding for funeral costs

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Recently I read that the average cost of a funeral is £8,126. Making the act of dying a considerable cost burden, and if the deceased did not make provision for their own funeral the costs are born by their friends and relatives, or the government. Here in the UK even the most basic of funerals costs £3,693 and this does not include flowers, a memorial or any catering. So, there really is no such thing as a cheap funeral. 

The problem of financing a funeral is especially challenging for the homeless. Many homeless people die penniless Many have lost contact with their families and friends. Those that had contact with their families, may have had families who are struggling financially and can’t afford funeral costs. 

When Daniel Hackett died his devastated family had to cope with both the grief from the loss of their son, whom they had not seen in two years, and also his unexpected funeral costs. They were unable to obtain government assistance and had no savings to their name. But, felt that Daniel deserved a send off that remembered his life and the positive contributions that he made. 

Daniel’s family were able to raise money through a campaign. The local community remembered Daniel’s positive and polite demeanour, despite living a tough life on the streets, and generously covered the costs of his funeral and more. His family were able to raise over four thousand pounds. 

Not everyone has the support that Daniel had. These people don’t receive the send off they deserve. They lie in graves unrecognised and unmarked, as if they did not even exist. 

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Funerals are a financial burden and crowdsourcing is being used to share the cost


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Hi Kate, thanks for the post! It'd be great to add an image with this. Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

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