Airbnb.org today announced it has committed $5 million to offer free, temporary housing to people displaced by Hurricane Ian in the US and Hurricane Fiona in the Caribbean in coordination with partners on the ground. These stays will be funded by Airbnb and other donors to Airbnb.org.
In the US, Airbnb.org is working with local non-profit organizations, including Florida-based Global Empowerment Mission, and state and local officials to identify people in need of temporary housing. To be eligible for an Airbnb.org stay as part of this hurricane response, individuals must be connected to Airbnb.org by one of its official referral agencies. While Airbnb.org’s primary focus is to offer emergency stays to people displaced by the hurricanes, it is also working with organizations like CORE Response, Operation Blessing and Inspiritus to house first responders assisting with recovery efforts on the ground.
In the Caribbean, the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Fiona – including damage to critical infrastructure such as water, power, fuel, and food access – has complicated emergency response efforts. Airbnb.org partners CORE Response and SBP are on the ground in Puerto Rico and leveraging Airbnb.org grants to house their first responders. Airbnb.org is in touch with local emergency management agencies and other nonprofit organizations to track developments on the ground and determine how it can best support temporary housing efforts as conditions improve.
“Our thoughts are with the people displaced by Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian, and the first responders and organizations on the ground who are diligently working to assist in the wake of these disasters. We are grateful to Airbnb.org’s nonprofit partners and public agencies that will leverage Airbnb.org and Airbnb resources to connect people in need to a temporary place they can call home while they rebuild,” said Catherine Powell, Airbnb’s Global Head of Hosting and executive sponsor of Airbnb.org.
Disaster response is part of Airbnb.org’s mission to support people in times of need. 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. 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. Since then, the program has evolved to provide stays to evacuees, relief workers, refugees and asylum seekers through Airbnb.org.
Separately, Airbnb has committed $250,000 to the Florida Disaster Relief Fund to support Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Ian. The Disaster Relief Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster.
To learn more about Airbnb.org and how you can get involved, visit https://www.airbnb.org/get-involved.