Airbnb has partnered with Los Angeles County leaders and statewide union representatives to create a network of free accommodations for frontline responders and others working in private and public California hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky pledged $1.5 million to create a program that will support stays for up to 1,000 workers.
Workers will be able to book a free stay at Airbnb listings and hotels through the company’s HotelTonight platform, allowing them to be close to work while safely distanced from their families.
“The courage and resilience of frontline responders who are risking their lives to protect our communities are inspiring,” Chesky said in a statement. “We are grateful to our hosts across California who have stepped up to offer thousands of places to stay for these heroes.”
In Los Angeles County, the program targets doctors, nurses and others employed at four county-run hospitals — Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, LAC + USC Medical Center, Olive View Medical Center, and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.
Chesky is working with Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West to expand the program to include licensed vocational nurses, environmental service workers, technicians, therapists, transporters and others working at medical facilities throughout California.
The announcement follows a similar commitment made last week to support frontline responders in New York State and 1199SEIU members in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C, Massachusetts, Maryland and Florida.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, lauded the program.
“Undoubtedly, it’s stressful for them to leave work and risk potentially exposing their own family members to this brutal virus,” Barger said. “I’m grateful to Airbnb for their generous donation that will provide our healthcare heroes much-needed relief with a safe, comfortable place to rest.”
Last month, Airbnb announced Frontline stays, a program that allows hosts to support healthcare workers fighting the spread of the COVID-19. Since then, Airbnb’s global community of hosts have offered more than 140,000 places to stay for people responding to the pandemic.
Healthcare staff and other first responders can book available stays in 160 countries and regions around the world.