Airbnb Helps Homeless Sandy Victims Find Free Shelter

When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, we knew it was going to be bad. Few anticipated the full extent of the damage that Sandy's fury would create for almost a dozen mid-Atlantic states. 

More than 12,000 flights were canceled due to the hurricane and the three main airports which serve New York City were shut down for two days. Subway tunnels flooded and public transportation also ground to a halt. Homes, apartments, businesses, and vehicles were destroyed, either by the 13-foot storm surges or tree limbs and other debris torn loose by the violent winds.

In the week since Hurricane Sandy subsided, many have focused on the damage, how much it will cost to fix, and who's to blame. Instead, Shareable has tried to see the positive in this dark time. From around the internet, we've collected "extraordinary acts of sharing" that have emerged in communities throughout the affected area. Most of the time, these compassionate actions are performed by individuals, families, or neighbors. But occasionally, we've seen governments and businesses get in on the action as well.

Most recently, Airbnb has partnered with the City of New York to connect those in need with people who are able to provide free housing.

New Yorkers are now offering warmth and safe haven to Hurricane Sandy victims for free through Airbnb’s Donated Sandy Housing Directory. The platform has agreed to provide insurance, customer service, and other services to those in need during this time. According to Inhabitat, Airbnb has already seen 2,500 last-minute bookings near affected areas.

While this is a fantastic example of how nimble sharing companies can collaborate in times of need, it represents something of a moral victory for Airbnb-ers as well. 

When Airbnb really started to take off in the U.S., Mayor Bloomberg hated the idea. He was so opposed to New Yorkers making money this way, he made it illegal and punishable by fine to rent an apartment out for super short-term stays. Now it seems, Hurricane Sandy has allowed Bloomberg see things from a different angle, and hopefully, it will soften his stance toward the platform in the future.

If you're in New York City and are in need of shelter because of Hurricane Sandy, or have space to offer to those in need, request or list your space here.

Also check out:

Occupy Sandy Brings Relief To NYC

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