An Oakland City Council member wants to use cruise ships to house homeless people — but her plan faces a big obstacle

J Pat Carter/Associated PressOakland’s homeless population grew 47% between 2017 and 2019.

Oakland city council president Rebecca Kapan has proposed using cruise ships to house as many as 1,000 homeless people, KRON-4 TV reported.

Kapan’s plan reportedly faces a significant roadblock, as officials at the port of Oakland have said the port’s infrastructure would not be able to handle a cruise ship.

Kapan is not the first to explore the idea of using ships as homeless shelters. New York City did so in 2002, but ultimately rejected the plan because the costs of remodeling the ships would have been too high. In 2016, Art Agnos, the former mayor of San Francisco, proposed housing homeless people in a former Navy aircraft carrier.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency used cruise ships to shelter evacuees of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Oakland’s homeless population grew 47% between 2017 and 2019. The city’s per-capita homelessness rate is now higher than San Francisco’s.

Read KRON-4 TV’s full story here.

Have you worked on a cruise ship? Do you have a story to share? Email this reporter at [email protected].

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