Just over one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, we are still reminded on a daily basis of the heroism of our health care workers. From continuing to care for those sick with COVID-19 to administering life saving vaccines, health care workers are the keystone of our communities, putting their own wellbeing at risk to serve others.
At Airbnb, we have aimed to do our small part to give back to those who have given so much to us. As the global health crisis emerged early last year, countless Hosts around the world opened their homes to first responders and frontline workers fighting the spread of COVID-19 as part of the Frontline Stays program – work that today continues under Airbnb.org.
One of the many reasons why it means so much to support frontline workers is because health care workers are an important part of the Airbnb community. According to a recent survey conducted by Airbnb, health care workers remain one of the largest occupational cohorts in the Airbnb Host community. Over 15 percent of employed Hosts in the US reported in 2020 that their primary occupation was in healthcare services – an increase from 13 percent of employed US Hosts in 2019.
Since Airbnb launched Frontline stays in March 2020, Airbnb Hosts around the world have offered more than 225,000 places to stay and helped accommodate tens of thousands of healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders.
Airbnb also joined forces with partners like 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East to provide direct support to health care workers, providing housing at no cost to over 250 1199 members serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Georgia. These stays were supported by Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky’s $2 million commitment of his personal funds to support frontline workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, including 1199SEIU members.
But our work in support of 1199 and health care workers has not stopped there. To further lift up those who have sacrificed so much to protect New Yorkers during the COVID-19 crisis and their families, Airbnb also made a $250,000 contribution to 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East’s Employer Child Care Corporation, which gives 1199SEIU’s frontline worker members access to high-quality child care and youth programs. Airbnb has also supported the Basil Paterson Scholarship, to provide the next generation of frontline workers with the tuition assistance and financial aid they need to achieve their dreams and serve their communities as home care workers.
For Airbnb, stepping up to provide frontline workers with housing at a moment of crisis, or access to high-quality childcare and youth programs – or tuition and financial support through the Basil Paterson Scholarship – is a privilege.
To brave health care workers around the world, thank you for working every day to keep us safe. We are honored to be able to play a small role in supporting you and your families in return.