Portland Spirit River Cruises Offers Homeless Solution – A local businessman has proposed an unusual solution to address homelessness in Portland, Oregon. Portland Spirit River Cruises president Dan Yates wants officials to buy a 370-foot cruise ship and turn it into a homeless shelter.
Officials could purchase the vessel, set up to sleep 300, for $5 million, according to an ad Yates sent to Mayor Ted Wheeler. With extra funding, authorities could convert the boat into a floating shelter for 1,000 people, Yates says.
“I know you are trying many different approaches to reduce the impact of houselessness in Portland, ” Yates wrote to Wheeler in a February 8 letter. “I think a novel solution may involve something like this vessel.”
Although its five storeys currently have a swimming pool, a restaurant and a movie theater. Yates thought the ship could be converted into a more practical space. “This vessel could have its extensive spaces converted to bunk rooms,” Yates wrote. “Staterooms could be converted to allow family units to stay together and even have areas for pets and personal storage.”
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, federal officials chartered several cruise ships to shelter thousands of people unable to return to their homes.
In a similar situation, a Portland, Maine man wants to do the same thing. Ken Kapron has the same idea, using a cruise ship as housing for 1,000 homeless.
Kapron is the founder of the Maine Center for Constitutional Studies, a Tea Party–style organization that promotes strict adherence to the Maine and U.S. Constitutions, raffles off handguns and assault rifles.
His history includes being a volunteer for Little Brothers Emergency Shelter, 2 yrs. •1984 and Director of Accounting, Maine Medical Center, Accounting Supervisor, NNE Territory, Salvation Army, Finance Director, Office Mgr., Greater Portland Transit (METRO) and Two years as an orderly on a cancer unit at Maine Medical Center (MMC), overwhelmingly convinced Ken that although medicine intrigued him, death was too hard to face at this age. While working at MMC, Ken studied to be a Real Estate Broker and he went on to work for Peterson Realty in 1972.
Video: Man wants to buy old cruise ship and transform it into housing for 1,000 homeless.