Photo: Bernard Spragg.NZ/Flickr
Does the HBO comedy series Silicon Valley imitate the Bay Area, or does the Bay Area imitate Silicon Valley? Either way, the latest news about San Francisco techie Greg Gopman is shocking enough to be written straight into the script. He’s proposing that the best solution to the city’s homelessness crisis is to throw those individuals out to sea on cruise ships.
A former freelance VR program manager at Twitter, Gopman is infamously known for a heartless, anti-homeless Facebook rant from 2013 that led to his firing. In the post, which has since been deleted but was picked up by San Francisco Business Insider, he remarked, “…there is an area of town for degenerates and an area of town for the working class…. It’s a burden and a liability having them so close to us. Believe me, if they added the smallest iota of value I’d consider thinking different.”
Since then, he’s started a housing nonprofit called A Better San Francisco. Through the initiative, he’s teamed up with former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos to potentially buy a $13 million ship that formerly housed refugees. Of course, the ship would have to be funded by listing select cabins on Airbnb.
In an interview with The Guardian, Gopman admitted, “It’s very possible [that] for this thing to happen, people would have reservations about me being involved.”
How did a former San Francisco mayor get tied up in all this? A few years ago, Agnos wrote an op-ed for SF Gate extolling the virtues of the general idea. “A floating homeless shelter could be a game changer…Winter is coming.” He cited several other cities across the globe who have tried similar tactics, such as New Zealand, Germany and New York.
Stay tuned as Agnos and Gopman float this idea past Mayor Ed Lee’s administration.