Airbnb.org is helping house Afghan refugees in Virginia.
The philanthropic arm of Airbnb is working to connect Afghan refugees to free temporary housing across the state.
“Over the past several weeks, Airbnb.org has been in touch with our partners in Afghanistan. The one thing we heard over and over again is that housing was one of the things refugees needed the most,” said Liz DeBold Fusco, an Airbnb spokesperson.
In Virginia, over 300 hosts have signed up to provide free housing to Afghan refugees.
Airbnb and Airbnb.org have pledged to cover the cost of 20,000 refugee stays nationwide. The refugee program is also being offered in California and New York.
A refugee stay can range from a few days to a few weeks. The average stay is 7-14 days, according to Airbnb.org.
Anyone with space available, from a private room to an entire home, can offer to temporarily house refugees by going to www.airbnb.org/refugees. Airbnb.org is also accepting donations for the program.
Airbnb.org is working with the Afghan Coalition and Women for Afghan Women — along with affiliates from all nine major U.S. resettlement agencies — for the program. Funding for the program comes from contributions to Airbnb.org from Airbnb and the company’s co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, as well as donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.
Afghan arrivals have been paused in Virginia because of potential exposure to measles from some Afghan children who had been evacuated to the United States, primarily through Washington Dulles International Airport.
Nearly 56,000 Afghans have been evacuated from Afghanistan to the U.S. since the Taliban took control of the country on Aug. 15. The majority of Afghan refugees are being housed at eight military bases across the country, including Fort Lee, Fort Pickett and Quantico in Virginia.