With bushfires still burning around the country, Australians have begun offering their spare beds to those in need of emergency housing.
Almost 1,500 properties have been destroyed in NSW alone and large numbers of Australians have had to flee their homes because of the fires. The crisis has left thousands of people displaced — so in response, good samaritans have begun opening up their houses as a source of free accomodation.
Last week writer Erin Riley set up the service Find A Bed, which connects those in need of somewhere to stay with Australians able to offer a bed.
Got a spare bed you can offer?
Register at https://t.co/QnAfloZWBl
— Erin Riley (@erinrileyau) January 3, 2020
“If you need a place to stay: let us know where you are, and what kind of accomodation you need, and we’ll look through the available offers and connect you with the closest match,” the Find A Bed website explains.
“If you have a spare bed or room for animals: let us know and if someone who needs a place to stay that matches what you can offer registers, we’ll put you in touch with them.”
Airbnb has also begun offering free accomodation from January 1 to January 16 to those displaced by the fires. Airbnb’s Open Homes Program will offer temporary housing to Australians displaced by the fires, relief workers, neighbours who’ve had to evacuate and “others impacted by the event”.
The efforts are working: as of Sunday January 5, there were more than 750 offers of accommodation on Find A Bed, 2SER reports.
— Erin Riley (@erinrileyau) January 5, 2020
Since September, 23 people have died in bushfires across the country and more 6 million hectares of land has burned. While the Federal government has been slow to respond to the crisis, regular Australians have stepped up to help out. Influencer Celeste Barber has raised a whopping $30 million in just three days for relief efforts, while Malua Bay pharmacist Raj Gupta made headlines for keeping his chemist open despite the fact that he could not take payments — and that his own house had been lost in the fires.