Hope Air along with Airbnb have provided free accommodations to more than 300 frontline workers in Ontario and British Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many frontline workers found themselves earlier this year working directly with COVID-19 patients – or were concerned they would come into contact with the virus and spread it unknowingly to their families and people they lived with.
By opening up their homes, Airbnb hosts provided stays that offered frontline workers a comfortable place to safely self-isolate and protect their families while they worked to the fight pandemic.
Catherine Yu, a doctor specializing in internal medicine as well as endocrinology and metabolism at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, worked directly with COVID-19 patients in 10-hour shifts and overnight. She needed a place to stay for one week in order to self-isolate and be closer to her hospital.
“I'm enormously grateful for the generosity of the program,” said Yu in an email. “Having a place to stay while working on the COVID unit that was close to work was instrumental to me focussing on work, knowing that I wouldn't have to worry about the commute on public transit on the way home, nor potentially exposing my family.”
Between April and June, Hope Air and Airbnb provided free accommodations to nurses, doctors, personal support workers, and other frontline workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities for up to one month with the option to extend the stay.
“We are so proud to be a partner of Airbnb and to help our Canadian frontline workers,” said Mark Rubinstein, Chief Executive Officer of Hope Air. “Hope Air is grateful to all of the frontline workers who are protecting the health of Canadians during the pandemic. These are trying times for everyone, and we are just pleased we could help those essential workers.”
“We are incredibly appreciative of our frontline workers, who have risked their lives to help fight this pandemic and keep us safe,” said Alex Dagg, regional policy director at Airbnb. “This type of impact is what we hoped for when we launched the Frontline Stays program and it’s been an honour to work with Hope Air to make it a reality.”
The frontline program emerged from an existing partnership between Hope Air and Airbnb that started in 2019. Hope Air provides flights and accommodations for Canadians in financial need who must travel far from home to reach essential medical care.
Due to its existing relationships with hospitals and healthcare institutions, Hope Air was able to quickly reach out to frontline workers and help as many as possible in the midst of the pandemic. Hope Air was able to help workers in a number of cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Markham, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, Ajax, Brampton and Hamilton.
Several healthcare institutions had workers who stayed in accommodations, including St. Michael’s Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Michael Garron Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Royal Alexandra Hospital. Additionally, long-term care homes such as Isabel and Arthur Meighen Manor, Windermere Care Centre, St. George Care Community and McCall Centre also had essential workers take advantage of the program.
Posted on: Sep 21 2020