June 18, 2014 at 1:00 am

Remains of 140 unclaimed bodies at Wayne Co. Morgue to get free burials

The remains of more than 140 unclaimed bodies at the Wayne County Morgue will receive burials at no charge to families thanks to a coalition of supporters and volunteers.

The names of 146 bodies in the morgue have been released. Anyone who has a family member on the list can call the Ira Kaufman Chapel at (248) 569-0020 to make sure they will be informed of a public memorial service and receive details on a veterans' memorial being planned.

Members of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association from Wayne and Oakland counties, with the support of The Jewish Fund, led a coalition to help identify and provide burials.

“This is a human problem that requires a human solution,” said David Techner, one of the organizers of the coalition and the funeral director at the Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield.

Last month, the board of directors of The Jewish Fund approved a grant of up to $60,000 to purchase caskets.

Before burials take place the coalition plans to host an interfaith memorial service open to the public.

“This will allow the community, along with family members to honor and pay tribute to those who have died. We will make every effort to ensure that no burial takes place without at least an effort to have family members present,” Techner said.