Airbnb has pledged to donate $77,000 to Swords to Plowshares to complete the funding to provide new housing for veterans at 250 Kearny St. The popular short-term rental site will also provide funds and volunteer hours to put finishing touches on the space with furniture, paint and decorations.
The donation comes as Airbnb hosts from around the world gather in San Francisco as part of a three-day international host conference called Airbnb Open. As a gesture of gratitude to the city—Airbnb’s host and headquarters—the funding is geared to help some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations.
“Transforming 250 Kearny Street into housing for homeless veterans has been a true community-wide effort,” said Michael Blecker, Executive Director of Swords to Plowshares. “Airbnb’s generosity and commitment to giving back to our community is an impressive example of how the private sector is stepping up to help Swords to Plowshares and the city end veteran homelessness.”
“Airbnb is providing needed people-power and financial support to ready 250 Kearny for 130 veterans who no longer have to live on the streets of San Francisco,” said Bevan Dufty, the City’s Director of HOPE (Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement). “Our goal is to end veteran homelessness and Airbnb is helping us make a giant step towards that goal.”
“Airbnb is honored to support our hometown heroes who have selflessly served our nation,” said Joe Gebbia, CPO and co-founder of Airbnb. “We are pleased to commit resources and bring our community of employees, hosts and guests together to help ensure that 250 Kearny is a welcoming home for San Francisco’s Veterans.”
Additionally, employees and hosts from around the world will be volunteering at four other community service projects throughout the city, in coordination with Hands on Bay Area, including: Meals on Wheels San Francisco, the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (THC), Marshall Elementary School, and Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH). Each project is outlined in further detail below:
- 250 Kearny Street: The former Stanford Hotel on Kearny Street is being renovated to house 130 homeless veterans, with onsite social workers and other supportive services operated by Swords to Plowshares. Airbnb is donating $77,000 to complete funding for the renovation. Additionally, Airbnb employees and hosts will help put the finishing touches on the building by setting up new furniture, decorating common spaces, and painting.
- Meals on Wheels San Francisco: Every day, many of San Francisco’s low-income seniors are unable to leave their homes for basic necessities. Volunteers will spend the morning at Airbnb putting together over 500 care packages to bring to seniors served by Meals on Wheels San Francisco.
- Tenderloin Housing Clinic: The Seneca Hotel is a critical resource in serving San Franciscans exiting homelessness and provides 204 units of permanent supportive housing. THC works hard to maintain and upgrade the Seneca Hotel to ensure residents have an affordable and safe place to live. Volunteers will help with this effort with lighting repairs, painting and cleaning.
- Marshall Elementary School: Marshall Elementary School is a small Mission neighborhood public school that offers a full K-5 Spanish Two-Way Immersion Program and is a Science focused school. Volunteers will be painting classrooms and the cafeteria and working in the school’s garden.
- Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH): DISH is recognized for providing high-quality, permanent supportive housing to San Franciscans with significant health challenges. Volunteers will work in the outdoor gardens along several of DISH’s housing properties.