Program offers free headstones for homicide victims
LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- If something happened to you or your loved ones would you be able to cover the cost of a burial?
All too often families of homicide victims find themselves unable to afford a simple stone which costs around $600.
Robert Leachman III would have been 21-years-old today, but on Aug. 2 he was gunned down after a basketball game in the Park Hill neighborhood.
Since that time his family has been struggling with his loss, but now they feel like they have the proper way to celebrate his life thanks to a little help.”
“It hurts,” said Leachman’s mother Jamie Denton. “It hurts every day. Every day is a challenge for me, and I’ve been trying to work towards his monument, his diamond, his headstone.”
As if losing her son wasn’t enough, Jamie Denton says she has struggled to afford the costs associated with his burial and victim’s advocate Christopher 2X says she’s not alone.
“Some families are just challenged to find a way forward,” said Christopher 2X.
That’s where the Evans Monument Company is hoping step in to lend a hand.
“For anyone that’s 21 years of age and younger we want to give them a basic marker,” said Tom Evans.
Tom Evans says that covering the $600 cost is his way of trying to give back to families who have already lost so much, starting with Denton.
“It’s a terrible tragedy to lose someone in the family,” said Evans. “It’s even worse if then they’re not able to mark a grave the way they want to, so they can have some closure.”
“It’s a lot of people that go out there,” said Denton. “He’s in a good spot. I’m thankful and grateful for that. I’ll get some closure.”
The survivors respect assistance package is available to anyone whose loved one has been a victim of the violence which has spread across the city.