When local hospitals and mortuaries have deceased persons who are indigent and without family or friends to bury them, they usually call Joe Hubbard.
“Joe would know when some poor person has died and he sets them up with a funeral and burial,” said Dee Dee Murray, office manager with the Catholic Diocese of Belleville Cemetery Association.
Since May of 2017, the Association’s Joe Hubbard Compassionate Assistance Fund has helped bury seven indigent persons.
The Joe Hubbard Compassionate Assistance Fund was initiated in honor of the association’s director, Joe Hubbard, with the mission to “help bury the broken, the poor and the lonely.”
“He has devoted his life’s work to helping the poor and assisting the bereaved,” Murray said.
“We do a lot of charity work,” Murray said. “Funds are so tight at St. Vincent de Paul and Catholic Urban Programs so they can’t help as much as they used to.”
Normally it costs about $2,130 for a burial, Monday through Friday. But often the association does it for much less.
You do not have to be Catholic to utilize the fund. The fund covers burials in Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery and Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.
Funds will also help to permanently mark the graves of those who die with no family or friends or who have been taken care of by a state-appointed guardian.
“These individuals usually die with no funds available for their funerals and burials,” Murray said.” Some one’s got to do it. This is not a moneymaker. These people have to be treated with respect and they are here. Everyone is buried with prayer, whether by a priest or by Joe Hubbard.”
Any amount of donation is welcome, Murray said. Donations can be sent to the Joe Hubbard Compassionate Assistance Fund, 10101 West Main, Belleville, IL 62223.