(NewsNation Now) — With more than 500,000 refugees fleeing, there’s an effort to help Ukrainians find basic necessities, including shelter. Businesses are stepping up, including Airbnb, which has pledged to find free temporary housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
“At Airbnb, our sort of superpower is our host community and the homes that they have to provide. We saw a need and over the weekend worked really quickly to work with our partner organizations on the ground to be able to house 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, for free,” said Christopher Nulty, a spokesperson with Airbnb.
He continued, “We’ve done this over the last decade; we’ve housed about 55,000 refugees globally. In the last six months, we’ve housed about 21,000 Afghan refugees in the United States. So we’ve done this before, but just never at the scale that we’re about to undertake in Eastern Europe.”
Nulty said they’ve reached out to governments in Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania offering support. While the situation is unfolding quickly, he said they’re focused on supporting the need, wherever it exists, but are starting with those five countries and will continue to scale.
Nulty said housing is being paid through Airbnb, airbnb.org, and the generosity of some of their founders and others. But they’re going go where the need is.
“Our goal here is to get as many folks into safe housing as possible. We’ve also heard from a lot of hosts who have said I’m willing to do this for free, which is just incredible. But, we understand that for many hosts, that’s just not possible. And so we’re stepping up and covering those stays,” Nulty explained.
Nulty said they’re working with several humanitarian organizations and refugee resettlement organizations, working directly with refugee families in helping them identify where they need to be in finding housing,
“We feel fortunate to be able to work with such amazing organizations,” Nulty said.