Airbnb Provides Free Stays To 100,000 Healthcare Workers & First Responders
Photo Credit: Terry Vine | Getty Images

Photo Credit: Terry Vine | Getty Images

Airbnb Provides Free Stays To 100,000 Healthcare Workers & First Responders

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Leah Freeman-Haskin
Leah Freeman-Haskin Apr 8, 2020

First responders are being tested in many ways while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the globe.  Airbnb is the latest business to come forward with an offering to support the world’s current medical heroes. As many medical workers look for housing options closer to work or feel the need to self-quarantine away from family, Airbnb is offering a free solution.

“Airbnb is partnering with hosts to connect 100,000 healthcare staff and first responders with places to stay that allow them to be close to their patients — and safely distanced from their own families,” says the company on their website.

Image via airbnb.com

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The hosts are responsible for offering their homes for free, while Airbnb waives all fees on their end. Airbnb says the new initiative is built on pilot programs in France and Italy, which have seen 6,000 hosts offer their homes to doctors, nurses, caregivers, and other medical support staff.

Airbnb’s Open Homes Program was first launched in 2012, to provide free places to stay for people in times of need. The program supports evacuees, relief workers, medical patients and their caregivers, refugees and asylum seekers. The company stated that it invested $20 million last year alone to the Open Homes program including grants and travel credits to nonprofits to help fund free, temporary housing to people in need, as well as operational costs.

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Airbnb has created a “robust list of cleaning and safety protocols for hosts participating in the new program, stating, “according to the CDC, it’s possible for someone to contract COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface—like a doorknob or light switch—and the virus may live on some surfaces for several hours or even days. That’s why it’s essential to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often, especially between reservations.”

You can host or donate to the program through the Airbnb website.