Oakland Could House the Homeless on a Giant Cruise Ship

The Oakland City Council will consider an extraordinary plan for housing the city’s homeless.

City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan confirmed last week that the city is seriously considering housing homeless individuals on a large cruise ship that can accommodate up to 1,000 people.

What started as an off-hand comment at a Council meeting became more serious after someone contacted Kaplan about an available vessel. Negotiations soon began.

As unusual as it is, the idea of housing people on a ship isn’t entirely without precedent. Curbed SF notes that a nonprofit organization in Maine once pursued a similar idea with an aircraft carrier. After the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the USS Peleliu was temporarily used to house displaced individuals.

But the Port of Oakland is already pouring cold water on Kaplan’s brainstorm.

“There isn’t the infrastructure to berth a cruise ship” the Port said in a statement the Associated Press, adding that maritime facilities aren’t meant for residential use and that a cruise ship turned homeless shelter would present a number of security challenges.


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