NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A homeless man received a proper burial courtesy of a Manhattan woman.
Over the years, Juanita Vega developed a friendship with Richard Coleman, who was a fixture in her Upper East Side neighborhood.
Coleman died last month at the age of 62, and with no next of kin, he was to be buried in Potter’s Field, the city’s public cemetery.
Vega said Coleman didn’t deserve a burial at Potter’s Field and ended up paying nearly $2,000 to have Coleman buried at the Rosemount Memorial Park in Elizabeth, N.J.
“I didn’t organize any funds, I paid out of pocket,” Vega told 1010 WINS. “I had one or two of my friends who gave me a few dollars towards it, but it was me. I didn’t collect anything from anybody but a few friends of my own.”
Vega said she just did what she had to do.
“I knew him for so many years. I just felt bad for him because he wasn’t a bad person, you know, if he was a very disrespectful person or a nasty person then you know maybe I wouldn’t have gone that far,” she said. “In the long run, maybe the Lord will take care of me when I go.”
Meanwhile, other Upper East Side residents held a small memorial service for Coleman earlier this month and raised about $1,500 in his name to donate to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
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