Short-term rental and soon-to-be public platform, Airbnb, isn’t only about the money. The startup has announced a non-profit platform to help shelter the most vulnerable.
Called Airbnb.org, the idea was first inspired by a host who offered up rooms in her home for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. This was a catalyst for Airbnb hosts to begin using their space and the app for the greater good. Airbnb has noticed this trend and is tapping into it to make it an official aspect of its suite of services.
Airbnb.org is an independent 501 nonprofit organization focused on offering temporary stays for people during crises, including evacuees, relief workers, refugees, asylum seekers, and frontline workers fighting during the pandemic, specifically healthcare workers.
Joe Gebbia, the Co-Founder of Airbnb and Chairman of Airbnb.org, explained:
“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.
“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.”
Further commitments by Airbnb.org include:
- $2 million to support expanded partnerships with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE)
- $1 million to cover stays for IFRC staff and volunteers supporting communities worldwide hit by COVID-19 and other humanitarian disasters
- $1 million contribution to CORE to fund stays for frontline workers administering free COVID-19 tests, conducting contract tracing, providing flu shots, and coordinating quarantine support resources in ten cities across the U.S. with the opportunity to launch in new cities as hotspots arise
Jagan Chapagin, Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said:
“Supporting communities through times of crisis requires collaborative efforts. We value our partnership with Airbnb.org which will support our ongoing work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and countless other emergencies around the world.
“Temporary housing provided to IFRC volunteers and staff through this partnership will offer comfort and hospitality as they work tirelessly to support people affected by disasters.”
CORE Co-Founder and CEO Ann Lee, said:
“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.”