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Airbnb is Partnering with San Jose State University to Offer Homeless Students Housing

Isabel Garcia
Photo credit: Denis Tangney Jr - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

Between studying for exams, filing for student loans, and mapping out a future, going to college can be extremely stressful. So it's easy to imagine the added stress for students who do this all without a home. In the Bay Area, a part of California where affordable housing has become increasingly unattainable, students are particularly vulnerable: One California State University report found that more than 4,000 San Jose State University students experienced a form of homelessness 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 give homeless and housing-insecure students free temporary housing. This public, private, and non-profit partnership is the first in the country to offer this kind of program to homeless students.

“Our students should be focused on final exams—not where they’ll 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 refund the booking fees to the center. Depending on students’ needs, their stays will range between a few days, a few weeks, and up to a couple months. The program is set to launch during this holiday season, a time when campuses are closed, meaning many students may need the initial support.

“We know that a comforting and supportive environment for our students—including housing— is an important building block for meeting their basic needs,” says San Jose State University Vice President of Student Affairs Patrick Day. Hopefully this program will pave the way for others of its kind.




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