“They were stacked up like my shoes in the closet. It was a lot of things that hit home for me.”
The economic downturn of the country has impacted its citizens in countless ways ranging from a lack of employment to an overall cut in funding or the loss of a position.
Another tragic reality deals with the deceased, as funeral arrangements have always been somewhat of a hefty amount to pay, but for Detroit, there have been over 60 bodies that have remained unclaimed by family in the Wayne County Morgue. The reasoning is simply due to the fact that they were unable to gather the necessary funds needed for funeral arrangements.
One representative for the morgue stated that some of the deceased have been out there for years. Footage was released that showed the bodies all gathered together in a freezer.
Shanti Das, however, looks to correct this issue as her non-profit organization, May We Rest In Peace is aiming to fix the problem and make sure that each body is given a proper burial.
Speaking with CNN, Das elaborated on her call to give an assist to the rising predicament for the city as well as the loved ones of the deceased.
“I just wanted to immediately take action. I thought oh my God, we have to try to restore some dignity to these families.”
Her own past weighs in on her strong dedication to others she does not know her family endured financial anguish around the time they were trying to lay her father to rest.
The process is already underway as the organization has been able to raise over $6,000 and have successfully laid six bodies to rest. Aid came from the music industry in the form of Busta Rhymes and Akon.
Looking into the future, the city of Detroit has made sure to play a factor as it has allocated $22,000 in their fiscal budget for 2010.
Along with the actual burial of the body, there is a ceremony accompanied where people are able to come and give their final respects to the fallen.
Das' history in the industry has found her working alongside artists such as Toni Braxton, TLC, Outkast and many others. She served as an executive with LaFace, Arista and Universal Motown.
“It's going to take one person like me and a million others to start shedding lights on these problems. But just because I'm a country girl from Atlanta doesn't mean I can't help someone in Detroit.”
Those looking to help out with the cause can head to http://maywerestinpeace.org/ to make donations.