Airbnb starts non-profit for those who need a place to stay during a crisis

Part of the contributions will fund stays for COVID-19 workers.

Dado Ruvic / Reuters

For a few years now, several Airbnb hosts have opened up their homes for those in need, like those escaping Hurricane Sandy or COVID-19 responders. Today, Airbnb has decided to formalize the process by starting a new non-profit appropriately called designed to provide shelter in emergency situations.

In a statement, Airbnb said that the new non-profit will focus on “emergency response and to help provide stays to evacuees, relief workers, refugees, asylum seekers, and most recently, frontline workers fighting the spread of COVID-19.” The company said that more than 100,000 hosts have already offered to open their homes for such reasons. As of today, Airbnb’s Open Homes and Frontline stays program will be called will partner with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE). It has committed 400,000 shares of Airbnb stock to support, and co-founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nate Blecharczyk have pledged to donate an extra $6 million on top of that as well.

On top of the initial commitments, will also commit $1 million over the next two years to cover stays for IFRC staff and volunteers and another $1 million to CORE to fund stays for COVID-19 workers who need to administer tests, conduct contact tracing, provide flu shots, coordinate quarantine support and those traveling to vaccine distribution centers.

According to Airbnb, hosts who support in this way will receive a special badge on their profile as a way to recognize their good deed.