Tech entrepreneur Greg Gopman, of AngelHack, a company which organizes hackathons, complained on Facebook in 2013 (seen on his website titled, The Stupidest Thing I Ever Did) about the “homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash, the degenerates gather like hyenas, spit, urinate, taunt you, there is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us.”, recently wanted to house the homeless on a cruise ship.
Gopman’s website welcomes visitor with this message, “Hi, I’m Greg Gopman, I’m most well known for my work building AngelHack, Hackathon.io and for my work solving homeless in San Francisco. I’m an avid traveler, lover of unconventional wisdom, and usually have 2- 3 wonky ideas I’m working on.”
On his blog, he had posted on May 8, 2015, ” A New Solution to Housing the Homeless, The way America deals with homelessness is broken. Every year, cities spend more to try and manage homelessness at a local level, and every year they come up short. In the past 8 years, US spending on homelessness has doubled, yet homelessness itself has only decreased by 10%.”
So, Gopman brain-stormed a plan to house the homeless on a cruise ship in San Francisco. He lays out the reason the homeless should be housed on a cruise ship, “Now you might be wondering: would people really want to live somewhere else? Maybe… maybe not. But it’s an option we should be offering. Currently, the only option we offer people is to stay homeless. Or worse, we put people in jail for being homeless.”
Gopman had started a petition two years ago on Change.org. The petition states he was trying to get 100 signatures and received 32 before it was closed. It appeared to be primarily promoted via his blog. That was ultimately the publicity problem with the AngelHack founder’s petition.
Gopman challenges his readers, “That’s why it’s time to make a change! If you want to support a regional housing solution, sign our Change.org campaign below. If 30,000 people sign up, then A Better San Francisco will organize a Regional Housing Summit for California and assist the mayors of the thirty cities below to organize one as well.”
The long-winded blog post had two big orange buttons at the bottom of the blog post. For a man who considers himself a tech, tech enough to hold hackathons, it is sloppy at minimum, that the links on the buttons were improperly formatted and would not work. The button links were formatted to go to this web address, which of course is not a web address at all. http://greggopman.com/blog/www.bit.ly/regionalhousing
This was indeed a trifecta effect cluster of his “wonky” ideas. First, was the Facebook post slamming the homeless, second to create this webpage petition promotion which was flawed tech code, but the big Kahuna was suggesting to house homeless on a cruise ship.
Wonky Defined: crooked; off-center; askew;(of a thing) unsteady; shaky; not functioning correctly; faulty.
Gopman’s website says he has a hackathon going on today: Sony Xperia Projector Hackathon, held March 3-4, 2017 at Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.
The idea of using a cruise ship to house the homeless is not new. Right before Thanksgiving on November 21, 2002 the Los Angeles Times published an article New York Floats a Plan to Place Homeless on Board Cruise Ship, which floated this same idea.
“City officials, faced with a rapidly expanding number of homeless and a court order that requires New York to provide temporary shelter for any person who needs it, have come up with the novel plan to use old cruise ships as just one of several solutions to a chronic housing shortage.”
Years later, there was a new twist to the cruise ship idea. On September 7, 2016 CBS San Francisco published an article which stated, “former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos pitched a solution to the city’s homeless crisis that would get people in need off the streets and onto a ship. Agnos wanted to turn an old aircraft carrier, the USS Peleliu, into temporary housing for the homeless.”
Filed under: wonky, wonkier, wonkiest ideas for housing the homeless.
Great Idea Helping Homeless
Now, a really great idea. On March 16, 2009, the Ship to Shelter Program Port of San Diego and Holland America Line was kicked off.
Video: Ship to Shelter Program