Airbnb announced the launch of Airbnb.org Monday, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis, along with a commitment of $1 million to fund housing for essential workers administering free COVID-19 tests at future vaccine distribution centers in Los Angeles and nine other cities.

Airbnb’s previous Open Homes and Frontline stays programs will now be called Airbnb.org. In recent years, the Open Homes program has helped people displaced by wildfires across Southern California and most recently frontline workers through a partnership with L.A. County and the health care workers union SEIU-UHW.

The $1 million gift to Community Organized Relief Effort will allow the organization co-founded by actor Sean Penn to evolve relief efforts in the U.S. as hotspots arise, according to CORE.

“We are incredibly grateful to Airbnb.org for providing places for our team to stay while they are away from home and serving communities that are being affected by COVID-19,” said Ann Lee, CORE co-founder and CEO. “It’s heartening to know that our hardworking team has a safe and comfortable place to rest and recuperate after the hard work they do every single day on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic.”

Airbnb has pledged 400,000 shares of Airbnb stock to support Airbnb.org’s emergency response, natural disaster and refugee programs and Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk are committing $6 million, the company announced.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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