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Richmond residents open up their homes to Hurricane Dorian evacuees

Posted at 11:31 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 23:31:11-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Throughout the country, people are coming together and opening their doors for evacuees as Hurricane Dorian makes its way up the East Coast.

Now, thousands along the coast are hosting their homes through Airbnb for free.

"We have a program called Open Homes which allows us to facilitate the ability to our host to open their homes for free," said Kellie Bentz, Airbnb Global Head of Disaster Response & Relief.

Bentz said they have activated over 1,300 hosts across Florida, Georgia, the Carolina's, Tennessee and Virginia.

"Over 1,300 guests have actually been booked," Bentz said.

Bentz said right now, hosts will be helping those in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands affected by Hurricane Dorian.

"Typically when there is something of this magnitude with this scale of evacuations, this is perfect for what our hosts are able to offer which is a few nights to a few weeks," Bentz said.

Nearly a dozen homes in the Richmond area will be open and more than 100 across the state.

"I think a lot of people want to give back and they don't know how and they find this way is a unique way to do that," Bentz said.

Airbnb said the Open Homes Program will run through September 16th. If you would like to host your house for free as part of the program, click here.