For Airbnb, meeting the needs of people who are victims of disasters and other horrible circumstances has become a duty. Though the process has been very basic by the standards of a tech company that’s well refined. The earthquake in Japan, wildfires in Canada had gotten the utmost support of Airbnb amongst other emergencies that has happened over the past five years with the purpose of pairing volunteer hosts with persons in need. Introductions are made, email blasts sent out, and spreadsheets of hosts in affected places are drawn up by Airbnb staffers. These rudimentary processes have been replaced by a new and more effective platform called “open homes platform”. It’s a site for well-meaning hosts and guests who are truly in need for the sole purpose of home sharing.
Irrespective of geographical location, if after a natural disaster, people become homeless and need short-term housing, our community could be made available in a matter of hours. The founder, Joe Gebbia, who gave a demo at Backchannel’s New York headquarters, said: “our community can respond faster than governments can show up.” The “open homes platform” site isn’t restricted to refugees alone. Other people who genuinely need temporary accommodation can be nominated by site visitors, and as Gebbia has said, they will be included on the platform over time. Gebbia stumped the possibility of misconceptions when he said, “This is a buffer housing before a family finds permanent or longer-term housing.” To begin, the refugees are linked with volunteer hosts in Greece, United States, France, and Canada. If you are not already a host on Airbnb, you can register on the site and list your home. People who register will then be vetted by social service agency partners and families will be placed for stays ranging from days to weeks. Airbnb has set a goal for itself to house 100,000 displaced people over a period of five years.
A pilot program Airbnb ran in conjunction with the International Rescue Committee’s local Reception, and Placement Center placed its first refugee in Oakland, California. This accomplishment increased the interests of the government and nonprofit partners.
A Superbowl ad that encouraged tolerance and came to an end with the hashtag #weaccept was aired by Airbnb. This resulted in people, 16,000 of them pulling up the website airbnb.com/weaccept. These people with a full understanding of the platform opened the homes to refugees and people affected by natural disasters. They are the pioneers, the very foundation for Airbnb.com/welcomes volunteers.