Chris Cleary, founder of StreetMed, is not sure how 55-year-old “Anne” became homeless but she wanted to ensure that she was not forgotten in death.
A funeral service for Marie Anne Lott was held on Friday, funded by community donations and the generosity of Hills businesses.
Mrs Cleary came across “Anne,” who was part of the regular StreetMed health checks, when she entered the transitional housing program after finding herself homeless.
She was diagnosed with cancer in March but refused treatment.
“It’s a bit of a mystery about who Anne was,” Mrs Cleary said.
“Nobody seems to know why she became homeless. We know hardly anything about her previous life other than she was a drummer and a guitarist.”
When Anne died, Mrs Cleary put a plea on Facebook to help fund a funeral she felt Anne deserved.
“Everyone deserves to be farewelled with dignity and love,” she wrote.
She told the Times she was amazed by the immediate response which saw Allan Drew Funerals from Castle Hill cut the cost by half and donations from Walsh and Sullivan Castle Hill.
“Nobody deserves a pauper’s funeral. Everyone’s had a life and deserves to be remembered,” Mrs Cleary said.
Hills Shire councillors Ray Harty and Tony Hay also came to her aid and the charity Wiping Tears Foundation made up the rest.
The funeral at Pinegrove Memorial Park was attended by about 20 people. Flower Spot Kellyville provided the flowers and photographic studio Captured by Kirri donated their time.