Greg Gopman pods

An artist’s rendition of Gopman’s proposed homeless pods.

Back in 2013, AngelHack co-founder Greg Gopman got in hot water after posting an online rant about the homeless in San Francisco.  He soon turned his views around, and began to campaign for the homeless by building them clusters of pod-like homes.  Yet thanks to acrimony with public officials, Gopman’s plan seems to be floundering.  Thousands of miles from the Bay Area, Gopman is currently in the middle of an Eat, Pray, Love trip in Asia, claiming he feels “disheartened” by how little people cared for the plight of the homeless.

Gopman spent the first half of 2015 expressing his regret for his insensitive remarks about the homeless and trying to tackle the problem.  Back in June, he posted diagrams of “community transition centers” which he hoped to build for the homeless in downtown San Francisco.  As his plans have failed to pan out, Gopman is pointing his finger at the leadership of San Francisco, claiming that the people in charge of helping the homeless don’t actually care about their plight.  In response, a senior aide to the mayor said that Gopman’s proposed domes reminded people of a “dog house”.  He claimed that the people who worked with Gopman got sick of his ego.

Gopman’s startup, AngelHack, organizes hackathons, mass exploratory programming collaborations and contests.  His reputation suffered sorely after posting a rant about the homeless in San Francisco, after which he disappeared from the public eye until coming out with a blog post in January 2015 called “Solving Homelessness in San Francisco”.  He then launched an online thinktank called “A Better San Francisco”, and in June announced a “new civic solution that can forever change how homelessness is perceived in America”.  This came with accompanying artists’ impressions of a detailed proposed mini-village of geodesic domes that provide individual bedrooms, as well as larger domes for showers, computers, movies and cooking.  Individuals would be housed for six months and given help, although substance abusers and the “mentally ill” wouldn’t be accepted at the centers.  While Gopman says that the project has been funded, finding land for the project, especially in a place where real estate is as expensive and desired as San Francisco.  He has said that the mayor scrapped the plan since it was seen as too controversial for an election year.

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