December 1, 2018

Cities around the United States are finding it difficult to curtail the issue of homelessness. Finding practical, financially possible, and large-scale solutions to homelessness is very difficult, especially in large cities where affordable housing is hard to find and even harder to create.

But in Portland, Maine, one man might have a solution to the homeless issues that the city faces. His idea involves the purchasing and re-purposing of a retired cruise ship.

Illustration – Unplash | Julie North

Ken Capron, an entrepreneur, proposed the idea to the city council and had received positive feedback, according to a Miami Herald.

Capron’s idea to permanently dock the cruise ship in the city’s harbor could potentially solve the problems related to homelessness, including location, number of potential units, and finding available space to create housing for the homeless.

Posted by Kenneth Capron on Thursday, October 1, 2009

“We’re looking at four populations: the homeless population, the low-income population, the workforce population and immigrant population who all need housing,” Capron told WMTW.

“They all need job skills training. We would offer that on board.”

Illustration – Unplash | Anatoly Anikin

“I have no idea if it’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard, or the most brilliant idea I’ve ever heard,” said Mayor Ethan Strimling.

“But what I like about it is that he’s coming up with creative ways to figure out how to build housing in the city of Portland.”

Illustration – Unplash | Brandi Ibrao

According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), between 2016 and 2017, the homelessness rates rose 1 percent, and on any given night there were over half a million people experiencing homelessness.

The proposed idea has been well thought out by Capron, but he also applied for a feasibility study grant that would be an independent and unbiased assessment of the proposal.

Depending on the outcome of the study, Capron and the city are prepared to take the next steps forward on the project.

“There’s tons of hurdles that anyone would have to overcome to do this, but once again, I need housing. If people want to bring crazy, creative far-fetched ideas to me, I’m happy to hear them out,” Strimling said.