The company is to donate £30,000 to the appeal, with 40p for every UK rental throughout December going to the campaign. It will also match any donations to Centrepoint made by UK Airbnb hosts during this period.
The announcement came as the company hosted a cookery class and lunch for Centrepoint young people at its London headquarters.
The event saw the company’s Clerkenwell office transformed into a dining room as Airbnb “trip host” Alissa Timoshkina helped four former Centrepoint residents concoct a Middle Eastern feast of humous, tabouleh, fennel salad and lamb kofte.
“It’s a nice way to meet people,” said Tori, who left Centrepoint seven years ago and now volunteers for the charity. “It’s easier to talk to people when you’re doing something – when everyone is doing the same thing it creates a relaxed atmosphere.”
The causes of homelessness
The causes of homelessness
1/7 Family Breakdown
Relationship breakdown, usually between young people and their parents or step-parents, is a major cause of youth homelessness. Around six in ten young people who come to Centrepoint say they had to leave home because of arguments, relationship breakdown or being told to leave. Many have experienced long-term problems at home, often involving violence, leaving them without the family support networks that most of us take for granted
2/7 Complex needs
Young people who come to Centrepoint face a range of different and complex problems. More than a third have a mental health issue, such as depression and anxiety, another third need to tackle issues with substance misuse. A similar proportion also need to improve their physical health. These problems often overlap, making it more difficult for young people to access help and increasing the chances of them becoming homeless
Young people's chances of having to leave home are higher in areas of high deprivation and poor prospects for employment and education. Many of those who experience long spells of poverty can get into problem debt, which makes it harder for them to access housing
4/7 Gang Crime
Homeless young people are often affected by gang-related problems. In some cases, it becomes too dangerous to stay in their local area meaning they can end up homeless. One in six young people at Centrepoint have been involved in or affected by gang crime
5/7 Exclusion From School
Not being in education can make it much more difficult for young people to access help with problems at home or health problems. Missing out on formal education can also make it more difficult for them to move into work
6/7 Leaving Care
Almost a quarter of young people at Centrepoint have been in care. They often have little choice but to deal with the challenges and responsibilities of living independently at a young age. Traumas faced in their early lives make care leavers some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities, with higher chances of poor outcomes in education, employment and housing. Their additional needs mean they require a higher level of support to maintain their accommodation
Around 13 per cent of young people at Centrepoint are refugees or have leave to remain, meaning it isn't safe to return home. This includes young people who come to the UK as unaccompanied minors, fleeing violence or persecution in their own country. After being granted asylum, young people sometimes find themselves with nowhere to go and can end up homeless
In November Airbnb announced it would begin selling experiences and tours as well as rooms, allowing hosts to commodotise skills and local knowledge. Dubbed “trips”, experiences include things like truffle hunting, sumo wrestling and surfing, and are already available in 12 cities across the world.
Speaking at the lunch, James McClure, Airbnb’s Northern Europe GM, said: “Moving into trips allows people to monetise skills, but it also opens up another way for people to have a good time, show what they’re passionate about and give a good experience to people coming to London from either outside the UK or outside the capital.”
Russia-born Timoshkina was recruited as a trip host after an Airbnb employee attended her film-themed supper club. Her three-day “Cinema Banquet” trip includes a film screening, dinners, a private cookery class and an events styling lesson. “Lots of eating and drinking,” she said.
“It’s been lovely, an amazing way to meet new people. When you’re bonding over something so specific, you’re unlikely to get people who are bored or unengaged. The people I’ve done it with so far have had great stories to tell and I’ve found we have so much in common. And drinking wine always helps break the ice.”
At the Centrepoint lunch she was joined by three other trip hosts: Dom Daniel, a music industry insider, and Luke and Josh, two skateboarders offering the chance to sample London’s skate scene.
“I started skating two years ago,” said Centrepoint’s Tori, “so I’m looking forward to speaking to Luke over lunch. I’ll also speak to Dom as I take photographs at gigs, and he may have some advice with that.”
Speaking at Airbnb’s conference last month, global CEO Brian Chesky announced plans to have trips operating 50 cities by next year and all cities not long after that.
At the lunch Mr McClure added that Airbnb trips would help tourists discover parts of London beyond the reach of most tourists. He said: “You often think of London as just the central bit. But our hosts and our trips encourage people to visit the outer boroughs. It’s a kind of tourism where the proceeds are shared much more evenly than just in Zone 1.”
Mr McClure said: “Homes and housing is what we’re all about. The idea that you can belong anywhere. Especially at this time of year these things – and the issue of homelessness – are particularly important. So this is something we’re very happy to be a part of.”Reuse content