This California City is Considering Using Cruise Ships to Solve Homeless Crisis

Monica Sanchez | December 12, 2019

Oakland, Calif., is considering a new idea to address its homeless crisis:

Cruise ships.

Why not float the homeless out on the sea instead of building shelters or providing for affordable housing considering the state’s ridiculously high costs of living.

According to Fox News, Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan on Tuesday during a city council meeting proposed the idea “to house up to 1,000 homeless people, suggesting a ship be brought to the Port of Oakland.”

She explained that she got the idea from using cruise ships as emergency housing during natural disasters like hurricanes.

This comes amid a sharp spike in homelessness over the past two years:

“Homelessness has spiked in Oakland, with a 47 percent jump in two years — one of the largest surges of any California city, according to a one-night street count released in July,” Fox News reports.

“The count, which used federal guidelines, showed Oakland had 4,017 homeless people, up from 2,761 in 2017. The increase has put the city's per capita homeless rate higher than neighboring San Francisco and Berkeley.”

Kaplan called the situation “a human catastrophe” and that “it has to be all hands on deck.” She indicated to the council that she would be submitting an official proposal in January at low cost for the city, as she claims she’s already been contacted by cruise ship companies and people would pay for rooms based on their income.

There are a number of complications, however, as Port of Oakland spokesman Mike Zampa told The Associated Press:

“We respect President Kaplan's desire to address homelessness but Port of Oakland docks are designed to work cargo ships, there isn't the infrastructure to berth a cruise ship,” he said. “Safety and security issues at our federally regulated maritime facilities would make residential uses untenable.”

Other ideas to address homelessness in California have included using parking lots for people to sleep in their cars.

(Cover Photo: Flickr/Port of San Diego)