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It’s ironic that the company responsible for driving rents up and families out — in the major cities — may just be what those facing homelessness need.

Currently, if a family’s rental burns down and it does do not have relatives or friends to stay with, it has few options. The woman and child could not go to Courage Connection shelter, as that is only for those fleeing domestic violence.

So they may face child services and lose custody, as they must individually go to separate shelters. Staying at a hotel, even a cheap one, might be more than these people can afford.

The option of sleeping in a car does not work in the winter.

Airbnb offers include insurance to those renting an extra space, and they validate persons with background checks. I would urge those with extra space or property to consider hosting in this manner.

Airbnb demands a minimum of $10 a night and has been known to waive that for emergencies. Instead of using the program to rent illegally or make a profit, why not give the gift of helping families stay together?

ANDREA ANTULOV

Urbana

News-Gazette