What if the money you spend on lodging while you’re traveling could go directly to benefiting communities in need? Instead of helping hotel’s make a profit, your money could help people in the place you’re visiting. That’s the model behind a new program for travelers visiting Seattle.
Horizon, a network focused on hospitality lodging exchanges, recently launched Stay a Night, Give a Night, a program benefiting homeless people in Seattle. Through this program, travelers pay just $14 per night (plus a one-time $10 service fee) to stay in the home of a Seattle local. The nightly fee is donated to Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter and resource center.
Here’s how it works in Horizon’s own words:
Horizon’s “Stay a Night, Give a Night” campaign allocates tourism dollars otherwise spent on expensive hotels or vacation rentals to help those who need it most: families and children experiencing homelessness. Mary’s Place can provide a child with one night of food, shelter, and stability for just $14. Stay with a Seattleite during your visit to Seattle, and as a thanks for their generous hospitality, fund one night’s shelter for a homeless child. In Seattle alone, an estimated 1,200 kids sleep outside every night. Mary’s Place has a proven record of empowering homeless women, children and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter and resources.
Horizon has been pushing the charitable giving angle since their launch in 2015. After enjoying free hosted lodging, Horizon users are encouraged to donate via organizations like Kiva, as thanks to their host. You can read more about Horizon’s program in this interview I conducted in 2016 with Drew Myers, Horizon’s founder. Travelers can use Horizon to find hosts anywhere in the world, but the homeless support program is currently only active in Seattle.