More than 200,000 Californians have been displaced by the wildfires ravaging the state, but some are finding safety and shelter with the help of Airbnb. The vacation rental company is mobilizing its network of open properties to connect fire victims with urgently needed free shelter.
The Airbnb Open Homes program is making free shelter available between August 20 and September 10 for wildfire victims. To be eligible, all you need is a document confirming residence in an evacuation zone such as a utility bill or driver’s license. Once you submit this, the company will review your application and connect you with a place to stay, based on available rentals.
The program has been operating since 2012 and 50,000 people have found shelter with its help during hurricanes, floods, and fires. Hosts near the affected area that want to help out simply list their home as an Open Home shelter and the company handles connecting them with an individual or family in need.
As of today, all of the Open Homes shelter properties are full, but those in need can still submit an application to be placed on a waitlist for available homes.