Global rental agency Airbnb has announced a new nonprofit initiative: airbnb.org.
Airbnb.org will help connect those in need of housing with places to stay "in times of crisis," says a release.
"The inspiration for Airbnb.org began in 2012 with a single host named Shell who opened up her home to people impacted by Hurricane Sandy," a release from the company reads. "This sparked a movement and marked the beginning of a program that allows hosts on Airbnb to provide stays for people in times of need."
How it works is that Airbnb hosts can provide "free and discounted" stays to those impacted by emergencies, and those hosts will get special badges on their profiles.
"These stays, which provide alternative accommodation and shelter options, are especially helpful to government and nonprofit partners in a year where the COVID-19 pandemic has made housing vulnerable people in traditional congregate shelters extremely challenging," says Airbnb.
Airbnb says that more than 100,000 hosts have offered places to stay to more 75,000 people, from relief workers and evacuees to those fighting on the frontline of COVID.
“Airbnb.org is a testament to our community’s generosity and the power of an idea that started with one host eight years ago and has transformed into a movement of compassion and hospitality,” said Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb and chairman of Airbnb.org. “Founding and supporting Airbnb.org allows us to double down on our efforts to help communities in need across the world in coordination with our partners, including the IFRC and CORE, to further amplify the generosity of our host community.”
The nonprofit is partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), pledging $2 million to support the collaborative program — $1 million to pay for stays for IFRC staff and volunteers across the globe dealing with "humanitarian disasters," including COVID, and $1 million to CORE to help give frontline COVID workers a play to stay in the U.S.
“We are incredibly grateful to Airbnb.org for providing places for our team to stay while they are away from home and serving communities that are being affected by COVID-19,” said CORE co-founder and CEO Ann Lee in the same release. “It’s heartening to know that our hardworking team has a safe and comfortable place to rest and recuperate after the hard work they do every single day on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic.”
Airbnb has also donated 400,000 shares of its stock to support its partner nonprofits and Airbnb.org, as well as $6 million separately from Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk. Airbnb will also continue to provide operational support for Airbnb.org.
To learn more, visit airbnb.org.