Airbnb shares how Houston locals can help support Afghan refugees

HOUSTON – Airbnb has shared how Houstonians can help support Afghan refugees by providing temporary housing through its community.

The company announced that it along with Airbnb.org will offer free temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide through its new site called airbnb.org/refugees.

“Temporary housing is one of the most urgent needs for refugees as they leave Afghanistan,” said Liz DeBold Fusco, a spokeswoman for Airbnb.

The company said it has received an enormous amount of interest from Houstonians in the Airbnb community who are looking for ways to help support the refugees.

Alexander Wyatt of Houston is among them.

Wyatt is the owner and head baker of Leona’s Bakeshop, which he runs out of his Sunnyside home. Wyatt said he did not hesitate to sign up to host an Afghan refugee when Mayor Sylvester Turner put out a call to Houstonians on social media last Friday.

“It just feels like it would be wrong of me to withhold resources that I could be providing to people who need it,” said the baker.

Wyatt said he and his partner have a spare bedroom, bathroom and office they could offer to refugees. He said happy to extend his home, which is LGBT-friendly, and some sweet treats for as long as he’s able to because he feels fortunate.

“I realize that it may be a burden for some and that might be a concern or barrier to not invite these people in but when you’re coming from nothing I think anything is helpful,” Wyatt said.

Airbnb said it will cover all costs of 20,000 stays but can do more with the help of existing Airbnb hosts or anyone with available space to offer can sign up to provide free or discounted stays to refugees.

Those who cannot open their homes, but are interested in supporting housing for Afghan refugees can donate to Airbnb.org.

For more information, click here.


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