How Frontline Stays helped 3 COVID-19 responders

Get inspired by these nurses who turned to Airbnb hosts for places to stay.
By Airbnb on Jul 7, 2020
4 min video
Updated Aug 24, 2023


  • The Frontline Stays program offers spaces to COVID-19 responders who may otherwise have trouble finding a place to stay

  • A nurse in Italy says the house she found was a “safe harbor” for her to recharge

  • A traveling nurse from Mississippi was grateful to connect with her host while working in Michigan

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Many hosts are offering places to stay to healthcare staff and first responders who are helping to fight the spread of COVID-19 through our Frontline Stays program. Here are the inspiring stories of three COVID-19 responders who found homes to live in while they carried out their critical work.

A relaxing place to stay while working in Rome

Chiara is a nurse in Italy who went to Rome during the height of the country’s crisis. She was surprised to see the city virtually empty. When she’d visited before, it was a chaotic city full of life—and now it was a ghost town.

But she wasn’t there as a tourist—she had a critical role to play working at a hospital treating patients with COVID-19.

The work was unlike anything she’d ever experienced before, and the long hours took a psychological toll. She constantly worried about contamination, and caring for patients while doing the emotional work of acting as the connection between them and their families.

After her long days, Chiara needed a place to relax, and she found it on Airbnb. “The Airbnb initiative helped not only me, but many other professionals fighting this emergency,” Chiara says. “Having a house at this moment represents a safe harbor for me, a place where I can come back after a full day of hard work.”

She comes home, takes a breath, and recharges so she can come back stronger to take on the next day’s work. “To the people that are thinking about opening their doors to the healthcare professionals, I’d say ‘do it’ because we need you. We need a place to stay, a roof above our head—it’s crucial.”

A quiet spot to self-isolate in Canada

Ji lives in British Columbia, Canada, with her elderly parents, who help take care of her daughter. She’s spent many sleepless nights searching for affordable housing options to self-isolate away from her family. The decision was a difficult one, but she knew it was the right thing to do.

Ji notes that while healthcare workers have a professional obligation to care for patients, “families are not obligated in any way to be subjected to added risks.” So on top of the difficult work at the hospital, she was worried about how to keep her distance from her family to avoid getting them sick—particularly her father, who has a compromised immune system. Moving out was the best option.

She was feeling increasingly desperate and was considering living in her car when she found out about Airbnb’s program. Soon after she verified her status as a nurse on the front lines, she found a place on Airbnb to call home. Her accommodations were near the hospital with a host who offered her support 24/7 if she needed it.

“I can't thank my host enough for inviting me to use their fantastic house that is well-stocked, safe, and quiet,” Ji says. “I can rest comfortably and feel like I am doing my best to protect those I love and showing up to work with positive feelings.”

A home away from home in Michigan

Brandi is an occupational therapist in Mississippi. Before the pandemic, she focused on helping patients reach functional independence while rehabilitating from a medical trauma, neurological disorder, or chronic disease.

Now her work has shifted to helping those same types of patients—but who also have COVID-19 and are at a greater risk of having a serious case of the disease. She helps with their mobility in the early stages as well as their recovery—and her expertise means she also travels to help patients.

Brandi, an occupational therapist in Mississippi.

She was looking for a place to stay in Michigan, where she was traveling for work, but had heard of healthcare workers who were denied housing because of working on the front lines. She was thankful to have access to Airbnb’s Frontline Stays program, where she was quickly connected with her host John who provided her with “a clean environment and a safe place to stay.”

Brandi encourages other healthcare professionals to use Frontline Stays because “you have many options that are close to your facility … and the host will be willing to let you in with open arms.”

Join a growing community that unlocks the power of sharing during times of need.

Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

Jul 7, 2020
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