Kenneth Capron has been trying to find a way to create housing for the homeless for years. Recently, he started thinking outside the box, and he came up with a uniquely amazing idea.
Kenneth went before the city council of Portland, Maine this week to propose converting a decommissioned cruise ship into a housing community for the homeless. He calls this project “Hope Harbor.”
“We’re looking at four populations: the homeless population, the low-income population, the workforce population and immigrant population who all need housing,” he said. “They all need job skills training. We would offer that on board.”
This idea has been floated in the past in various parts of the country, but Kenneth is taking it a step further in the hopes of making it a reality. He managed to get the green light from stakeholders and the city council, and he then applied for a $250,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct the first feasibility study on converting cruise ships into housing.
The cruise ship would not be considered longterm housing for people. Instead, it would act as a shelter and offer resources to help them get back on their feet. Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling explained that the city needs around 1,000 housing units for the homeless, and this cruise ship could house 800 as well as 300 crew members to offer social services, counseling, and support.
“I have no idea if it’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard, or the most brilliant idea I’ve ever heard, 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,” Strimling said.