A Final Resting Place for the Homeless in Denmark

The World

A bronze monument called "An Angel Among Us" will mark the homeless cemetery (Photo: Giv din Hand/Torben Christensen)

Let's reflect a bit now on the subject of burials and the sometimes difficult decision about where to to be buried. In many cultures, homeless or indigent people, are buried in a potter's field or a common grave. But in Denmark advocates for the homeless have come up with a new idea. They're calling it a cemetery for the homeless, a final resting place for some of the estimated 5,000 homeless people in Denmark. So where would such a cemetery be located? This city district is already home to the historic Assistens Cemetery where you can find the graves of Danish philospher Søren Kierkegaard, as well as children's fairytale author Hans Christian Anderson. Michael Espensen heads a homeless advocacy organization in Copenhagen called "Giv din hÃ¥nd" or Give A Hand. He says that a section of Assistens KirkegÃ¥rd cemetery in Nørrebro (a suburb of Copenhagen) will soon be set aside for Copenhagen's homeless residents. A monument called "An Angel Among Us" will mark the cemetery devoted to those who have slipped through society's cracks. He says the idea for a homeless cemetery was inspired by an experience he had while working with homeless street people in Copenhagen.
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