Why a host in Texas opened her home to a refugee family

Learn about an Open Homes host who welcomed a family during a big transition.
By Airbnb on Jun 15, 2018
2 min read
Updated Aug 24, 2023


  • Airbnb’s Open Homes program partners with refugee assistance agencies to help people restart their lives in new communities

  • Host Linda in Dallas opened her home to Mohammad and his family—and formed a lasting friendship

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Airbnb hosts open their homes and share their lives with travelers around the world, and many have gone beyond the typical call of duty for a host. Inspired by the warmth and generosity of our community, Airbnb partnered with a number of refugee assistance agencies to help displaced refugees find homes at scale.

Our hosts help create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. Linda, a Superhost from Dallas, truly embodies this. When her family received a call about hosting a refugee family for two weeks, she said yes without hesitation. “I felt like this was my way to stand up…in a positive way,” she says.

When Mohammed arrived with his wife and infant son, the two families immediately formed a bond. Mohammed served as a network administrator and translator at a U.S. Army base during the Iraq War—and because his work supported the U.S., his life was in danger.

What started out as a host and guest relationship blossomed into a lifelong friendship, leaving a lasting impression on both families’ worldviews.

When the two-week stay was up, Linda and her family continued to help them find and furnish an apartment. They decided to host the family for an additional month for free while they searched for a suitable space. In that month, Linda’s husband helped them negotiate a lower lease price, and with the help of donations from the Jewish community at her Temple, they were able to fully furnish their new apartment.

Even after the family settled into their new home, the generosity continued. Through help from many of their friends, they raised enough money to buy the family a car. And again through the generosity of the Temple, Mohammed’s son was invited to attend the preschool. They hosted a brunch so Mohammed and his family and those who helped them get settled could meet each other.

Mohammed describes Linda as a mother figure and says that since moving into their own apartment, they regularly see Linda and her family. Their relationship has gone from strangers to family.

Starting a new life is daunting. Mohammed says he never expected to be welcomed by this small community and respected by people from different backgrounds. Meeting Linda and her family through Airbnb has truly made them feel like they belong.

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

Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

Jun 15, 2018
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