Airbnb works with San Jose State University to provide student housing for the homeless

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Between studying for exams, applying for student loans, and planning a future, attending college can be extremely stressful. So it is easy to imagine that students doing all of this without a home would have added stress. Students are particularly at risk in the Bay Area, a part of California where affordable housing has become increasingly inaccessible: A report from California State University found that more than 4,000 San Jose State University students were homeless in 2018.

To address this devastating problem, Airbnb is partnering with the City of San Jose, the Bill Wilson Center, and San Jose State University to provide free temporary housing to homeless and housing insecure students. This public, private, and non-profit partnership is the first in the country to offer this type of program to homeless students.

“Our students should focus on final exams – not where they sleep each night,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a press release.

The Bill Wilson Center, which provides housing to homeless youth in Santa Clara County, will use Airbnb for Work’s third-party booking tool to book housing for students, and Airbnb will reimburse the center for booking fees. Depending on the needs of the students, their stays range from a few days, a few weeks and up to a few months. The program is scheduled to start during this holiday season when the campus is closed, which means many students may need the initial support.

“We know that providing our students with a calming and supportive environment, including housing, is an essential part of meeting their basic needs,” said Patrick Day, vice president of student affairs at San Jose State University. Hopefully this program paves the way for others of its kind.

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