Ex-Mayor Agnos says put homeless on aircraft carrier

By : sfcurbed – excerpt

To live in, not to ship them away

Former Mayor of San Francisco Art Agnos hasn’t held public office in years, but that’s no reason to quit working, as Agnos is always quick to toss out policy solutions for San Francisco’s various housing crises. His latest pitch: A homeless Navigation Center on an aircraft carrier.

This plan (shipped out via a Chronicle op-ed) is actually an old one for the former mayor. So old, in fact, that he did it already back in 1989, when the USS Peleliu served as an emergency homeless shelter after the Loma Prieta earthquake, an innovation Agnos usually references whenever the subject of the quake comes up.

Navy Rear Admiral John Bitoff, recalling the time 25 years later, said that the ship’s 300-plus temporary tenants, mostly displaced from a damaged SRO, were polite, well-behaved, and cheerful—although they did pile contraband several feet high before boarding…

 The Navy decommissioned the Peleliu (for some reason nicknamed “The Iron Nickel”) after 35 years last March. Agnos proposes we anchor it off of San Francisco’s shores once more to again cater those who have been displaced (this time by economic rather than seismic disasters). The carrier housed up to 5,000 people at a time during its Naval career, a number not quite equivalent to San Francisco’s estimated homeless population but competitive with it… (more)


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