William MacMullen outside the Woodin Street cemetery. Allan Appel | New Haven Independent

The Woodin Street Cemetery in New Haven is a small parcel of land that is the final resting place for the bodies of 1,101 deceased persons who died poor and or homeless. Each time I drive by the seemingly empty lot, because there are no headstones visible from the street, I am struck by the inhumanity of human beings.

The lot is unkept with overgrown grass and a vandalized iron fence. The names of the deceased, some known and unknown, are delineated by markers that have sunken into the neglected grounds.

In my interest of this sacred land and in remembrance of those whose final resting place is the Woodin Street Cemetery, I researched and learned of a gentleman named William MacMullen who has a one-man mission to honor the deceased homeless.

MacMullen has sought to restore the Woodin Street Cemetery, as well as other cemeteries within the Greater New Haven area. MacMullen is now retired. He often paid out of pocket himself to give honor to the deceased. I call upon those who care, local churches and Connecticut residents, to donate in remembrance of the forgotten — for all human beings who have treaded this life and then rested.

Cheryl Green is an Associate Professor at Southern CT State University and Nurse Leader at Yale-New Haven Hospital.