Monday, October 3, 2022

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100,000 People Fleeing Ukraine Have Found Stays Through Airbnb.org

Six months after announcing a commitment to offer free, short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, we are proud to share Airbnb.org has met this goal thanks to a global outpouring of support from Hosts on Airbnb, donors to Airbnb.org and humanitarian organizations helping people on the ground. 

“At the heart of Airbnb.org is the incredible community of Hosts who time and again demonstrate their kindness and generosity by opening their homes to people desperately in need of a warm welcome and community,” said Catherine Powell, Airbnb’s Global Head of Hosting. “We are also immensely grateful for the tireless work of nonprofit organizations whose partnership with Airbnb.org has touched over 100,000 human lives during an incredibly challenging moment.”

In the last couple of months, more than 48,000 Hosts offered temporary stays to refugees in 160 countries and regions around the world through Airbnb.org. That number includes more than 33,000 Hosts who opted-in to offer free and discounted stays since February 28. To date, refugees fleeing Ukraine have found refuge with Hosts across more than 90 countries and regions, including Germany, Poland, Denmark, Romania, Hungary and Canada. 

This milestone is made possible by Airbnb.org’s trusted humanitarian partners that helped book and coordinate stays for refugee guests. Airbnb.org worked with 40 organizations around the world to provide temporary accommodation to people fleeing Ukraine, including longtime partners HIAS and new partners such as IOMAlight and Nova Ukraine

These stays were funded by Airbnb, Inc., donors to Airbnb.org, and the generosity of Hosts who offered free and discounted stays through Airbnb.org. Since late February, Airbnb.org has received more than $8.4 million in small-dollar, direct donations from individual donors across 95 countries and regions. 

Supporting refugees is core to Airbnb.org’s work. Though Airbnb.org reached the goal it set out to house 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine in February, it remains dedicated to working with partners to support refugees from Ukraine and beyond in the months to come.

Host Rafal’s story 

In the week after Russia invaded Ukraine, performer and Host Rafał could sense its impact on his hometown of Wroclaw, in southwestern Poland. Boxes of donated supplies piled up outside a Ukrainian cultural center in his neighborhood. He heard Ukrainian spoken on the streets and in the shops. 

Rafał was amazed by how quickly his friends and neighbors responded to the influx of people fleeing the war. People donated food at the Wroclaw train station and gathered supplies to deliver to the Ukraine border. He began organizing a musical benefit with his colleagues, but he also wanted to find a more immediate way to help. 

Rafał learned he could offer free and discounted stays through Airbnb.org. “It’s one of the worst things not to have a place to stay, a place to sleep, a place to come back to,” he says.

Rafał continues to list his house through Airbnb.org to welcome guests displaced by crises, and has also helped interpret Airbnb.org webinars into Polish.

Artem’s story

Artem is one of the millions of people who was forced to flee Ukraine following the attack by Russia. He and his mother first sought shelter in a subway station, but as the attacks intensified they made the difficult decision to travel to Lviv, and then Poland in search of safety. They eventually found themselves in Berlin where they were connected to Safebow, an organization that helps evacuate and resettle displaced Ukrainians from marginalized communities. 

As a 21-year-old transgender man, Artem and other LGBTQ refugees face isolation and discrimination which makes it harder for them to access resources. However, thanks to the help of Safebow, Artem and his mother were connected to the Organization for Refugee, Asylum, and Migration (ORAM) which partnered with Airbnb.org to provide stays to displaced LGBTQ Ukrainians – including Artem – in Berlin and other welcoming European cities, as well as supporting partner organizations in countries neighboring Ukraine.

“The housing was important for me,” Artem shared with ORAM, “to have my own free space separate from my mom.” While Artem enjoyed the privacy of his own room, the home provided through Airbnb.org allowed him and his mother to spend time together in the kitchen preparing food to share for the first time in a while.

Although he misses his home, Artem is focused on building a new life in Germany, and grateful for the support he received from Airbnb.org and ORAM. 

About Airbnb 

Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to over
4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 1 billion guest arrivals across over 220 countries and regions. Travel on Airbnb keeps more of the financial benefits of tourism with the people and places that make it happen. Airbnb has generated billions of dollars in earnings for Hosts, most of whom are individuals listing the homes in which they live. Among Hosts who report their gender, more than half are women, and one in five employed Hosts are either teachers or healthcare workers. Travel on Airbnb also has generated more than $4 billion in tax revenue around the world. Airbnb has helped advance more than 1,000 regulatory frameworks for short-term rentals, including in 80% of our top 200 geographies. In late 2020, to support our continued expansion and diversification, we launched the City Portal to provide governments with a one-stop shop that supports data sharing and compliance with local registration rules. We continue to invest in innovations and tools to support our ongoing work with governments around the world to advance travel that best serves communities.

About Airbnb.org

Airbnb.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis around the world. Airbnb.org operates independently and leverages Airbnb, Inc.’s technology, services, and other resources at no charge to carry out Airbnb.org’s charitable purpose. 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 focus on emergency response and to help provide stays to evacuees, relief workers, refugees, asylum seekers, and frontline workers fighting the spread of COVID-19. Since then, Hosts have offered to open up their homes and helped provide accommodations to 100,000 people in times of need. Airbnb.org is a separate and independent entity from Airbnb, Inc. Airbnb, Inc. does not charge service fees for Airbnb.org supported stays on its platform.

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