Airbnb is doing its part to help refugees, evacuees, and other people who have been displaced find homes to stay in.
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Back in February, the home-sharing company made a five-year plan to find free short-term housing for 100,000 displaced people. And now it's taking a huge step in trying to make good on that goal.
Airbnb has launched Open Homes, a tool that gives everyone the opportunity to sign up to host someone in need. Hosts choose when their homes will be available, how many people they're able to host, and who their spare bedrooms best accommodate.
Over the last five years, the Airbnb community has housed thousands of first responders and relief workers during various disasters from Florida, North Carolina and Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, to Louisiana after devastating flooding, to the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Canada.
But now the goal is to shift from being reactive to proactive, harnessing the generosity of the community on a daily basis.
Here is one refugee's moving Airbnb story:
Airbnb staff used to work directly with relief organizations to match refugees with hosts who had volunteered their homes, but they found it was a slow process without immediate action, according to the Airbnb blog. The new Open Homes platform allows relief organizations to connect people in need directly with Airbnb volunteer hosts, which means a much faster process and fewer missed opportunities.
Visit Airbnb to sign up to host a person or a family in need.