Cruise Ship Tourists Use Homeless Shelter to Get Coffee

by Eric

The Ketchikan Visitor’s Bureau reported that last year, 38 cruise ships stopped at their cruise port. These ships brought approximately 944,500 visitors to the small community of only 8,245 people.


The First City Homeless Services shelter provides free coffee and some food to the local homeless. Earlier this week, the shelter’s chairwoman, Evelyn Erbele, told the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly that cruise ship passengers are sometimes stopping by to use the bathroom in the facility, and then staying to have coffee, eat a snack, and watch TV.

The shelter’s manager, Chris Alvarado, stated that he understands why tourists may come to the shelter. The shelter is open starting at 8 AM, when some local stores are still closed. Therefore, cruise ship passengers may not have much to do, and need something to pass their time.

Add this one to the list of “who would do that???” traveler stories.

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5 comments May 6, 2016 - 12:53 pm

How can 38 ships bring nearly a million passengers they would have to carry 30.000 passengers a ship get your facts right

Michael May 6, 2016 - 3:26 pm

@Victorfox, if you look at the schedule from 2015 you can see that the ships stop at the port more than once per year, they could have more than 100 dockings per month with a total of 38 individual ships. Why do you have to be an ASS and ASSume that there is a problem with the math here?

MaxHedrm May 6, 2016 - 3:57 pm

Well, less than 25,000 really. But still too many for a cruise ship. Even if you count the crew. Math is hard.

MaxHedrm May 6, 2016 - 3:58 pm

This seems like an opportunity for the shelter. Start “charging” or at least requesting a donation from the obvious tourists. It might be quite profitable and help them be able to expand their services for their real customers, the local homeless folks.

Wendy May 6, 2016 - 6:40 pm

Some of those people might be on one of the ferries that visit Ketchikan each year. I know I got off the ferry and went grocery shopping there.


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