Airbnb has activated its Open Homes program to help displaced residents and relief workers deployed to the regions impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
The Open Homes Program recruits hosts who are willing and able to provide their homes for free to displaced residents and disaster relief workers in the activation area including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program is currently available through Sept. 15, 2019.
This hurricane season, Airbnb is “committed to continuing to help communities across the country affected by natural disasters,” the company said.
The concept for the Open Homes Program dates to 2012, when in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, hosts came up with the idea to offer their space for free to those in need.
Since 2012, Open Homes has been activated more han 10 times for hurricanes and storms in the United States as well as US territories, including Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Tropical Storm Barry earlier this year.
The Open Homes program has housed 30,000 people in 61 countries. For Hurricane Florence in 2018, more than 700 hosts housed nearly 1,000 people in need, and for Tropical Storm Michael, 1,000 hosts provided temporary housing to more than 700 people in need.
“Through the program, those in need of temporary accommodations can connect with Open Homes hosts in the area free of charge,” she said. “We hope those in need will take advantage of the program and that those who can open their homes will do so in the days ahead.”
“Airbnb’s Open Homes Program has been activated to assist residents displaced by and relief workers deployed to respond to Hurricane Dorian,” said Kellie Bentz, Airbnb’s Head of Global Disaster Response and Relief.