Airbnb offers free housing to Hurricane Dorian evacuees, relief workers

Posted at 12:05 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 23:27:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL/WFTS) -- Airbnb has launched its “Open Homes Program,” which provides free housing to displaced residents and disaster relief workers impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

The program recruits hosts who are willing and able to provide free housing to displaced residents, and disaster relief workers in the activation area.

More than 800 Airbnb hosts have opened their doors in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. You can check available listings here .


As of Monday morning, more than 30 Airbnb locations around Florida were available. Available locations include St. Petersburg, Tampa, Tallahassee and Miami-Dade.

"It's the perfect spot to run away from a hurricane," said Amanada Gaudreault.

The Gaudreault family is spending Labor Day holiday more than 150 miles from their home in Vero Beach.

They are taking advantage of the Open Homes Program, staying in a home in St. Petersburg. It's a timely retreat as her 14-year-old son, Brenton, prepares for a cancer check-up at All Children's Hospital.

“It was great to have this place and know that we’re safe and know that we have a nice home to ride out the storm in," said Gaudreault.

Carrie Wilbur and her husband flip houses in Pinellas County. They are opening their properties to people who need a safe place to stay away from the storm.

“To think about what they’re going to be facing if they do get hit and where are they going to go, there’s a lot of people that can’t afford to go somewhere or in a hotel," said Wilbur.

“Airbnb’s Open Homes Program continues to be activated for those affected by Hurricane Dorian across the southeast U.S. region,” said Kellie Bentz, Airbnb’s head of global disaster response and relief. “We encourage hosts to open up their homes, and those who need housing to take advantage of the program.”

ABC Action News reporter Ryan Smith contributed to this story.