Local Airbnb hosts opening homes to Hurricane Florence evacuees - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local Airbnb hosts opening homes to Hurricane Florence evacuees

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 2:09 PM -04:00 Updated:
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

People across the Tennessee Valley are opening their doors for Hurricane Florence evacuees.

Adam Haney who owns a home in Chattanooga's Southside has already been contacted by someone from Charleston, South Carolina.

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"We just heard somebody that needed some help and so we said come on,” Adam Haney, an Airbnb host said.

Haney has listed his property on Airbnb for four years.

A stay that usually costs $199 per night will now be free of charge through the company's open homes program.

It connects Airbnb hosts with evacuees and first responders.

"Very easy, very simple way for us to help that's going to help somebody else out a lot,” Haney said.

The disaster relief program started after Hurricane Sandy.

15 miles away from Chattanooga's Southside and up on Lookout Mountain, Judy Hildebrand has a spare bedroom.

She knows the devastation hurricanes can cause.

"I've been through hurricanes before, Hurricane Andrew in Florida, and had to evacuate so I know what those people are going through so I just felt like I wanted to help,” Judy Hildebrand, another Airbnb host said.

Hildebrand reached out to friends in the Carolinas on Wednesday to see if they needed a place to stay. They already made plans.

Before she could reach out to Airbnb, she had a message in her inbox about helping evacuees with free temporary housing.

"It's not always about the money. Absolutely it's not about the money. It's about helping people,” Hildebrand said.

As for Haney, he's preparing his home for evacuees that will either make their way into Chattanooga tonight or Friday. He hopes other hosts will follow suit.

"I think that with the number of people that are going to need places to stay, I hope actually more Airbnbs in Chattanooga will open up their doors for people that need help,” Haney said.

The program will be going on from now until October 1.

If you need free housing or are able to help, you can sign up here.

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