Agnos stated that these are desperate times, as San Francisco is facing a public health crisis. According to the Homeless Point-in-Time Count for 2015, the homeless rate has increased sharply, closing in on 7000 people as of the beginning of the year, or about one percent of the city's population. Skyrocketing real estate prices and steep cuts in affordable housing along with low wages and few jobs have contributed to the upturn, according to Megan Hustings, director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.
"The USS Peleliu would be a game changer in the debate around homelessness," Agnos asserted. "Having them on a ship is a far better alternative than having them in unsanitary and unsafe conditions on the streets of San Francisco."
The ship, currently decommissioned and moored in San Diego, served as a shelter for two weeks following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
"People had a safe, clean, place to live with food and offices for people to use to service them. People were very happy. As a matter of fact, half of them wanted to go with the Navy after their trip ended," Agnos claimed.
"It's a publicity thing," said Shaw, "and we are past that point to be talking about silly solutions."
"Getting people onto the boat and off the boat…and things that can happen to people when they are on the boat. It just raises all the costs of everything," he observed.
Agnos, by way of a reply, stated, "We are already spending a quarter of a billion dollars in this city and look what we got."
Though the suggestion has not yet been formally shot down, there has been no indication of interest from the office of current SF mayor Ed Lee.