Local News


Woman unexpectedly helps homeless sleeping on headstones at Woodlawn Cemetery

Posted at 11:34 PM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-15 02:34:48-04

A valley woman had an unlikely response after she spotted a homeless man sleeping on a headstone at Woodlawn Cemetery near Las Vegas Boulevard and Owens Avenue.

"The spirit of God spoke to me quickly, and said that's what your parents lived for," said Dr. Jacqueline Parson Barker.

Most of Jacqueline's loved ones are buried on the grounds. That includes her parents, Claude H. Parson Jr. and Stella Mason Parson, who founded Vegas View Church of God in Christ.

"Hey momma, hey dad, I'm back," she said.

Jacqueline's mom passed away last year. The grieving daughter visits the site daily. 

The serene grounds are sacred to her. So she was upset when she first spotted a man with a bottle of alcohol passed out on a headstone.

"I wanted to call the police," she said. "I wanted to tell the mayor, we need to lock them out."

But soon after, Jacqueline says she unlocked her heart. Inspired by the legacy of her parents, she now tries to help people she sees resting near graves.

"What's going on? Tell me what's going on?" she asked a woman on site.

The emotional woman said she was homeless and hungry.

"God is getting ready to help you, and your life is getting ready to change," Jacqueline said.

Jacqueline, a retired teacher and counselor for the school district, said she sees each person as an opportunity to do good.

"I have been able to do a lot of compassionate ministry here," she said, "and I encourage other people to do the same."

13 Action News was told police are always patrolling the grounds. Our crews spotted workers asking a homeless couple to leave the property.

Woodlawn is over 100 years old. Many of Las Vegas' pioneers are buried on the charming site.