June 3, 2020

Rebecca Kaplan – housing the homeless on an old cruise ship

One city leader wants to bring a cruise ship to Oakland, and it isn’t to sail to any exotic destination, she wants it to stay right there, anchor it to house the homeless.
Council President Rebecca Kaplan has been making national headlines, ever since she came up with this idea, and if she pulls it off, it will be the first in the country.
“Certainly with the crisis this big we should be looking at all the options”., said Rebecca.

President Kaplan says she’s been getting calls from cruise ship companies who are retiring old vessels with dirty engines, so a ship that used to cruise can now be docked, plugged in and they’ve been used in other cities as hotels, and in some situations even as emergency housing.

Rebecca Kaplan
Rebecca Kaplan

Kaplan is referring to the time when FEMA put hurricane Katrina victims on the cruise ship, and then there’s a Queen Mary docked permanently in Long Beach, being used as a floating hotel.
“My goal is not to buy the ship but rather that the ship operators would negotiate a contract for a dock and then the people will pay on a sliding scale basis to stay there,” said Rebecca.

qeen mary
RMS Qeen Marry

Port of Oakland said they respected Rebecca Kaplan’s desire to address homelessness, but the port of Oakland docks are designed to work cargo ships, there isn’t the infrastructure to place a cruise ship.
Safety and security issues are our federally regulated maritime facilities, which would make residential uses untenable.

What the port Oakland said is it would be untenable to put them where cargo shipping is taking place, they do have a couple of options on land they own, where they don’t have cargo shipping going on, but there’s also a possibility of looking at other docks beyond the port of Oakland.
There seems to be widespread support to do something, anything about the homeless crisis.

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