Airbnb hosts open their homes and their lives to travelers around the world, and many have gone beyond the typical call of duty for a host. Inspired by the warmth and generosity of our community, Airbnb partnered with a number of refugee assistance agencies to help displaced refugees find homes at scale. On World Humanitarian Day, we are reminded that our hosts work every day to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. Linda, a Superhost from Dallas, truly embodies this spirit. When her family received a call about hosting a refugee family for two weeks, she said yes without hesitation.
“I felt like this was my way to stand up… in a positive way.”
– Linda, a host in Dallas
When Mohammed arrived with his wife and infant son, the two families immediately formed a bond. Mohammed served as a network administrator and translator at a US Army base during the Iraq War and because of his support to the US, his life was in danger.
What started out as a host and guest relationship blossomed into a lifelong friendship, leaving an indelible impression on both families’ worldview.
When the two-week stay was up, Linda and her family continued to help them find and furnish an apartment. They decided to host the family free of cost for an additional month while they searched for a suitable space. In that month, Linda’s husband helped them negotiate a lower lease price, and with the help of donations from the Jewish community at her Temple, they were able to fully furnish their new apartment.
Even after the family settled into their new home, the generosity continued. Through help from many of their friends, enough money was raised to buy the family a car. And again through the generosity of the Temple, their toddler son was invited to attend the preschool. They hosted a brunch so Mohammed and his family and those who helped them get settled could meet each other.
Mohammed describes Linda as a mother figure and says that since moving into their own apartment, they regularly see Linda and her family. Their relationship has gone from strangers to family.
Starting a new life is daunting. Mohammed says he never expected to be welcomed by this small community, and respected by people from different backgrounds. Meeting Linda and her family through Airbnb has truly made them feel like they belong.