AUSTIN, Texas - As the U.S. is working to get refugees out of Afghanistan, companies like AirBNB are working to make sure those people have a place to stay once they arrive in the U.S.
Over the past few years, AirBNB has provided housing to 25,000 refugees around the world. With the recent demand for housing Afghan refugees, the company has decided to launch a new website dedicated to finding these people temporary places to call home as they leave theirs.
"Temporary housing is one of the most urgent needs for refugees as they leave Afghanistan," said Liz Fusco, Communications Lead for North America at AirBNB.
As the state of Texas expects to rehome nearly 600 Afghan refugees, companies like AirBNB are stepping up to the plate to help out.
"It was clear that we had a responsibility to act in the face of this significant humanitarian crisis," said Fusco.
Fusco says the company recently committed to offering free, temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide. The announcement garnered tons of attention from AirBNB hosts across the country wanting to offer up their own spaces to the cause.
"It was overwhelming in the best way. People all around the world were asking us how we can help you do more to house more people and so we created this landing page AirBNB.org/refugees where you can sign up to do exactly that," she said.
The website allows existing AirBNB hosts to offer their available spaces and provide free or discounted stays to Afghan refugees. Airbnb will waive all fees on refugees' stays. This will be covered by contributions and donations from its refugee fund.
So far, 220 refugees have been housed across the country by AirBNB including in Texas.
"We're so grateful to those in Austin and all across Texas for their generosity and stepping up to help us provide housing to those in need at this time," said Fusco.
Fusco says it was the company's goal to help those in need and she's happy to see others step up to help as well.
"People are genuinely watching the news coming out of Afghanistan and we're all sitting at home just wondering what we can do. Now you can join and if you have space available, make it available to a refugee," she said.
If you are not an AirBNB host but still want to help, donate at AirBNB.org/refugee.