Governor Hochul Announces New York State Parks Centennial “Share Your Story” Project

Albany, NY – WEBWIRE

New Yorkers Invited to Mark 100 Years of State Parks by Sharing Memories Throughout This Centennial Year

Campaign is Part of Multi-Faceted 2024 Celebration of New York States Parks and Historic Sites

Watch Centennial Share Your Story Video to Learn How It Works

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the digital Share Your Story project and invited the public to share stories, photos, and videos reminiscing on their experiences at New York State Parks and Historic Sites. The multimedia campaign will run throughout 2024 in celebration of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservations Centennial.

For 100 years, New Yorkers have visited State Parks and Historic Sites to make memories, to learn and explore, and to have fun, Governor Hochul said. This project is a chance to come together to reflect on those memories, listen to each others stories, and celebrate one of New York States most significant environmental and cultural legacies and the role its played in our lives. Dont be shy, Share Your Story.

New York State Parks has developed several methods for people to share their stories, all of which are explained in detail on their Share Your Story webpage. Text, photos, and videos can be emailed to stories@parks.ny.gov. People may post to Facebook, Instagram, or X using the hashtag #NYStateParksStory. People may also submit text-only stories of up to 500 words using the submission form at parks.ny.gov/100/story.

Throughout 2024, the public will also have the opportunity to hear each others stories. Stories will be shared on the New York State Parks Instagram, Facebook, and X channels at @NYStateParks. Stories will also be posted on the New York State Parks Blog at nystateparks.blog; on the New York State Parks website at parks.ny.gov; and in email newsletters.

As Commissioner, I always enjoy hearing from our staff and from the public about the memories theyve made at parks and sites, said Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. Since we began planning our Centennial celebration, we felt it was important to provide an opportunity for people to share their memories. Im proud to see the launch of the Share Your Story project. I invite everyone to think back, connect with your friends and family, get out the old photo albums, plug in the old external hard drives, and share your stories with your fellow New Yorkers.

To prompt memories, Story Sparks will be posted regularly on State Parks social media channels (@nystateparks), as well as sent in Centennial email newsletters. Staff from Parks and Sites are sharing their own memories in a video series launching in the coming weeks. Several prominent New Yorkers will also share their memories in a series of videos launching later this year. Participating in Share Your Stories is a mission in the Centennial Challenge announced in December.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which saw a record 79.5 million visits in 2022. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit parks.ny.gov, download the free  NY State Parks Explorer app  or call 518.474.0456. Join us in celebrating our Centennial throughout 2024, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the  OPRHP Blog.

Governor Hochul Reminds New Yorkers of Upcoming Minimum Wage Increase

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Beginning January 1, New Yorks Minimum Wage Will Increase to $16-Per-Hour in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County and $15-Per Hour in the Rest of the State

Part of Historic, Multi-Year Plan to Increase New Yorks Minimum Wage Through 2027 Then Index it to Inflation

Minimum Wage for Home Care Aides Will Also Increase to $18.55-Per-Hour in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County and $17.55-Per-Hour in the Rest of the State

Minimum Wage Workers Who Do Not See Increase Reflected in Their Paychecks Are Encouraged to File a Wage Complaint With the New York State Department of Labor Here

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Governor Kathy Hochul today reminded New Yorkers that the states minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2024 as part of a historic, multi-year plan to increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation. Per an agreement between Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature, New Yorks minimum wage will increase to $16-per-hour hour in New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, and $15-per-hour in the rest of the state. Additionally, the minimum wage for home care aides will increase to $18.55 an hour in New York City, Westchester, and Long Island and $17.55 an hour in counties in upstate New York. Raising New Yorks minimum wage to keep pace with inflation will benefit hundreds of thousands of minimum wage workers across the state.

New Yorks historic minimum wage increase will help to ensure that New Yorkers can continue to keep pace with rising costs, Governor Hochul said. Starting January 1, minimum wage workers who do not see the increase reflected in their paychecks are urged to file a complaint with the Department of Labor to make sure that they get the wages they are owed.

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, The elevation of the minimum wage serves as lifeline for New Yorkers struggling to make ends meet as costs rise. Steady, multi-year changes allow businesses time to adjust while providing low-wage workers the ability to better support themselves and their families.

As part of the FY 2024 Budget, Governor Hochul secured an historic agreement to increase New Yorks minimum wage through 2026 and index it to inflation beginning in 2027. After the initial increase, the minimum wage will increase by $0.50 in 2025 and 2026. In 2027, the minimum wage will increase annually at a rate determined by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Northeast Region the best regional measure of inflation. An off-ramp is available in the event of certain economic or budget conditions.

The minimum wage increases for the next three years are shown below:

Effective Date New York City, Long Island, and Remainder of New

Westchester County York State
Current Minimum Wage $15/hour $14.20/hour
January 1, 2024 $16/hour $15/hour
January 1, 2025 $16.50/hour $15.50/hour
January 1, 2026 $17/hour $16/hour

Indexing the minimum wage to inflation will help to maintain the purchasing power of workers wages from year to year. Increasing the minimum wage overall overwhelmingly benefits low-income workers, particularly women and people of color who comprise a disproportionate share of minimum wage workers.

Eighteen other states either currently tie their minimum wage to inflation or some other economic formula or are slated to do so, including three states which have minimum wages at or above $15 in 2023. Economic research shows that raising the minimum wage can lead to reductions in poverty, reduced social assistance spending, stimulative spending, improved worker productivity, and other benefits.

The New York State Department of Labor is conducting a public awareness effort to remind New Yorkers about the minimum wage increase and encourage minimum wage workers to report missing wages. That effort will include digital outreach via social media, newsletters, and e-mail communications and direct outreach to distribute informational flyers with partnering organizations.

Minimum wage earners who do not see the increase reflected in their paychecks can file a wage complaint on the New York State Department of Labors website or by calling 833-910-4378. For more information about NYSDOLs efforts to combat wage theft, visit the Departments landing page.

Memo: Governor Hochul Delivers on Promise to Build a Safer, More Liveable New York in 2023  

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On January 1, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul took her oath of office as the 57th Governor of New York, saying of New Yorkers: In the face of adversity, we always persist, we persevere, we prevail.

This year, New York has faced significant obstacles: mounting costs for families, a rise in hate crimes and hate speech, and an influx of migrants and asylum seekers. These issues, along with longstanding challenges to increase the housing supply, expand access to child care, and lower rates of crime to pre-pandemic levels, had New Yorkers looking to their leaders for help.

In response, Governor Hochul immediately got to work, leading robust State responses to every crisis while championing an ambitious, long-term legislative agenda.

Many of Governor Hochuls initiatives are already delivering results: historic investments in public safety, a $1 billion overhaul of the mental health care system, the expansion of child care access to thousands of families, and other critical actions are making profound impacts on the daily lives of New Yorkers.

There is more work to do, but regardless of the challenges facing our State and country, Governor Hochul will continue leading by enacting policies that work to lift up all New Yorkers.

CREATING A SAFER, FAIRER NEW YORK

  • Responded to the rise in hate crimes and speech by announcing more than $51 million in grant funding to improve the safety and security of organizations at risk of such crimes; fully activating the DHSES Office of Counterterrorism; and launching a new telephone hotline and online form allowing New Yorkers to report hate and bias incidents directly to the State.
  • Made the largest public safety investment in a generation – $347 million (a $120 million increase from the previous year) in gun violence elimination, community response, and youth employment programs along with increased funding for law enforcement agencies and support for the enforcement and investigation of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).
  • Oversaw double-digit declines in shooting incidents with injury and the number of individuals killed by gun violence through December 2023, as compared to the same timeframe last year a 32 percent decrease in the number of individuals killed and a 25 percent reduction in shooting incidents with injury.
  • Signed the Clean Slate Act, landmark legislation allowing certain criminal records to be sealed years after an individual is sentenced or released from incarceration if that individual is not subsequently convicted of an additional criminal act.
  • Enhanced cybersecurity with the first-ever statewide strategy to protect New Yorks digital infrastructure from cyber threats.

ADDRESSING THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS

  • Made a $1 billion, multi-year commitment to strengthen New York States continuum of mental health care.
  • Invested $30 million to expand mental health services for school-aged youth, including $20 million for school-based services.
  • Hosted a series of youth listening sessions and a spring summit, attended by more than 1,000 participants, aimed at exploring the issues impacting the mental health of youth throughout New York State.
  • Funded 13 new Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) statewide that will offer immediate, walk-in mental health and substance use disorder services, regardless of insurance status.
  • Restored nearly 500 psychiatric beds taken offline during the pandemic.
  • Awarded funding to the first of 50 new Critical Time Intervention (CTI) care coordination teams, which will provide wraparound services, including housing and job support.
  • Worked with 14 existing Safe Options Support (SOS) teams in New York City to provide street outreach and services for chronically unhoused populations, including many living with mental illness or substance use disorder; helping 250 individuals transition into long-term or permanent housing, and laying the groundwork to expand this successful program to other areas of the state.
  • Continued holding health insurance carriers accountable by issuing more than $2.6 million in penalties to those failing to adopt network adequacy standards for behavioral health services, including covering life-saving crisis intervention and post-discharge services.
  • Awarded $1.6 million to eight addiction services providers to establish Mobile Medication Units (MMUs) that dispense medication to treat substance use disorder.
  • Made available all $192.8 million provided in the first year of the opioid settlement agreements, supporting a variety of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery initiatives helping New Yorkers impacted by the opioid and overdose crisis.

ADDRESSING THE INFLUX OF MIGRANTS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

  • Took steps to prepare for the influx of asylum seekers and migrants in anticipation of the expiration of federal immigration policy and continues leading a robust State response.
  • Committed nearly $1.9 billion to date to support asylum seekers and migrants by funding housing, transportation, and social services.
  • Identified multiple State-owned sites to be used as shelters for asylum seekers and migrants, including Lincoln Correctional Facility in Manhattan and Building 197 at JFK Airport.
  • Deployed more than 2,100 National Guard personnel to assist with on-the-ground management and logistics.
  • Led the successful push for the White House to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to individuals who arrived in the United States from Venezuela on or before July 31, 2023, granting more than 15,000 Venezuelan individuals the opportunity to attain legal work status within 30 days.

MAKING NEW YORK MORE AFFORDABLE AND LIVEABLE

  • Secured a historic increase to New Yorks minimum wage that will continue through 2027 when it will then index to the rate of inflation, ensuring those hit hardest by affordability crisis including women and people of color keep pace with the cost of living.
  • Expanded the Empire State Child Credit (ESCC) to include children under four years of age, making 630,000 additional children eligible.
  • Investing $500 million in underutilized federal funds to create a state workforce retention program and $4.8 million to establish an employer-sponsored child care pilot program allowing families who fall between 85 and 100 percent of the state median income to split the cost of child care with participating employers and the State.
  • Providing $7.6 billion over four years for the Child Care Assistance Program and expanding eligibility by raising the income limit to the maximum allowed by federal law: from 300 percent of the federal poverty level to 85 percent of the state median income assisting more than 100,000 additional New York families.
  • Announced that approximately 27,000 housing units had been built and preserved as part of the administrations transformative, five-year, $25 billion housing plan.
  • Increased New Yorks housing supply using executive actions to promote housing growth, including an executive order prioritizing certain discretionary funding for localities that comply with a new Pro-Housing Community certification process; a new, interactive portal to collect and share community-level housing and zoning data; and a program advancing residential projects halted by the expiration of 421-A in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn.
  • Required all State entities to identify the potential for their State-owned lands to support housing.
  • Expanded Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) to spur housing growth along major rail lines.
  • Invested tens of millions of dollars into communities across New York State through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) program, bringing small business investments, transportation infrastructure, and affordable housing to every region.
  • Awarded $100 million to 24 communities to date through NY Forward, which works to accelerate and expand the revitalization of New Yorks downtowns.
  • Signed legislation protecting consumers from having medical debt impact credit scores and prohibiting price gouging for medicine during drug shortages.

STRENGTHENING AND EXPANDING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

  • Strengthened access to reproductive health care by ensuring New York providers can prescribe medication abortion, allowing pharmacists to dispense contraception over the counter, and requiring schools in the SUNY and CUNY systems offer access to medication abortion.
  • Led the nation by ensuring reproductive health care can be provided to patients in states where abortion services are outlawed or restricted through telehealth services.
  • Announced the State would stockpile 150,000 doses of misoprostol, a five-year supply, to meet current anticipated needs.
  • Invested $100.7 million in new funding for abortion providers and reproductive health, including for security grants for reproductive health centers and additional Medicaid reimbursements.

BOOSTING FAST-GROWING INDUSTRIES TO CREATE 21ST CENTURY JOBS

  • Created GO-SEMI, a $45 million investment to oversee Microns historic $100 billion investment in New York State to create 50,000 new jobs and bolster the States efforts to grow the chipmaking ecosystem.
  • Announced a transformative, $10 billion partnership with industry leaders to create a next-generation research and development center at NY CREATES Albany NanoTech Complex the first of its kind in North America making New York home to the nations most advanced, publicly-owned semiconductor R&D infrastructure.
  • Growing New Yorks green economy, benefitting nearly 171,000 workers, by integrating fossil fuel employees into the clean energy industry and expanding workforce development and training initiatives that prioritize programs for the states most underserved populations.
  • Secured a historic expansion of New Yorks film and television production tax credit to support the States growing film industry by raising the annual cap to $700 million.

IMPROVING PUBLIC TRANSIT AND RECONNECTING COMMUNITIES

  • Made record investments to save the MTA from the fiscal cliff and secure long-term stability for public transit by adjusting the payroll mobility tax on New York Citys largest businesses and increasing contributions from the City.
  • Made $35 million in safety investments to protect riders throughout the MTA system and announced that major subway crime had returned to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Announced the New York City subway set a new weekend day ridership record of more than 2.7 million paid rides in October 2023.
  • Led the State in advancing a first-in-the-nation congestion pricing program that will provide $1 billion per year in funds to help increase levels of reliable service and add accessibility improvements throughout the MTA system.
  • Advanced a nation-leading plan to right the wrongs of the past by reconnecting communities where highways were built to divide neighborhoods and roadways were designed to separate residents from their downtowns, including a $2.25 billion I-81 Viaduct Project in Syracuse and a $1 billion Kensington Project in Buffalo.
  • Announced the advancement on Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, delivering equity to East Harlem one of the most transit-dependent neighborhoods in New York City.

COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE AND PREPARING FOR FUTURE DISASTERS

  • Directed State agencies to create a cap-and-invest program to accelerate climate action and fund a sustainable and affordable future for all New Yorkers.
  • Achieved a historic milestone with the successful delivery of clean power to Long Island from the first operational wind turbine at South Fork Wind, the first utility-scale offshore wind farm to begin delivering power in the United States.
  • Announced the first rounds of available Bond Act funds, including $200 million for water infrastructure and $100 million for zero-emission school buses.
  • Invested $500 million for clean water infrastructure.
  • Created the $200 million EmPower+ home retrofits program to reduce energy costs for 20,000 low-income New York families.
  • Secured $200 million in relief for high electric bills for 800,000 households.
  • Completed a 10-stop listening tour across the State, a key step in creating a collaborative and transparent process in the delivery of Bond Act funds.
  • Announced the creation of New Yorks State Weather Risk Communication Center (SWRCC) at the University of Albany, a first-of-its-kind operational collaboration between university researchers and State emergency managers.

PRIORITIZING HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION FOR THE NEXT GENERATION

  • Made a historic investment in education funding, including a record $34.5 billion in total School Aid for school year 2024.
  • Invested $24 billion for Foundation Aid, delivering on a promise to fully fund Foundation Aid for the first time in history.
  • Provided an additional $150 million to expand high-quality prekindergarten programs to 20,000 children across New York, bringing the States total annual investment to more than $1.2 billion.
  • Provided $134 million to incentivize qualifying low-income public and nonpublic schools to participate in a federal program allowing all students in those schools to eat breakfast and lunch at no charge regardless of their familys income.
  • Invested $2.4 billion in new funding for SUNY and CUNY capital projects to upgrade campus facilities and make strategic investments to support innovations and growth.

BUILDING A STRONGER, FAIRER HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

  • Provided a $22 billion, multi-year investment to support New York States health care system and an additional $1 billion for providers to make vital capital upgrades.
  • Invested $500 million for hospitals and health care facilities to upgrade patient technology systems to ensure cybersecurity protections remain strong and patient data remains confidential.
  • Oversaw significant improvements to aging hospital systems and services in lower-resources communities, including breaking ground on a $650 million emergency department expansion at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

BUILDING NEW YORKS LEGAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY

  • Laid a strong foundation for a significant expansion of the States legal cannabis market, with New York slated to have 40 operational dispensaries by the end of the year the vast majority of which are owned by independent operators who were unjustly impacted by the unequal enforcement of past prohibition.
  • Delivered on the promise to crack down on illicit cannabis storefronts, having inspected 350 locations to date yielding more than 11,000 pounds of seized illicit cannabis valued at over $54 million.
  • Took creative action to ensure growers had pathways to get their products to consumers by creating showcases allowing growers to sell their products via licensed retail operators at pop-up style events, which have yielded a total of $3.4 million in revenue.

A NEW ERA FOR NEW YORKS HIGHEST COURT

  • Nominated Chief Judge Rowan D. Wilson, who made history as the first Black Chief Judge in New York State history, and Associate Judge Caitlin Halligan.

Governor Hochul Announces Swimming on Long Island Ocean Beaches Has Resumed Ahead of Labor Day Weekend as Hurricane-impacted Conditions Subside

Swimming Has Reopened at Robert Moses, Hither Hills and Jones Beach State Parks After Rough Conditions Caused By Hurricane Franklin Subside

New Yorkers Encouraged to Sign Up for Real-Time Emergency Alerts via NY-Alert to Receive Real-Time Weather and Emergency Alerts During Hurricane Season

Albany, NY – WEBWIRE

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced swimming can resume safely at Long Island state beaches now that rough conditions resulting from Hurricane Franklin have subsided.

With the peak hurricane season upon us, keeping New Yorkers prepared and out of harms way is a top priority, Governor Hochul said. I am pleased the flooding and rough surf on our Long Island coast has diminished, and New Yorkers can enjoy a wonderful Labor Day weekend at the beach.

State Park lifeguards and staff assessed conditions Friday morning and determined conditions were safe for swimming. Swimming resumed at 9 a.m. at Robert Moses and Jones Beach State Parks and at 10 a.m. at Hither Hills State Park. All three ocean beaches experienced significant water levels, rough surf and rip currents, with extensive flooding at the Jones Beach beachfront and unpassable areas at Robert Moses and Hither Hills. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will continue monitoring conditions across state parks.

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, Im grateful for the extensive knowledge of our oceanfront staff, lifeguards and Park Police, who always put the safety of our visitors first. Though conditions have improved greatly, we urge park visitors to stay alert when at our beaches and pools, and follow all direction of our lifeguards and park staff.

For information on swimming at state parks across New York, visit parks.ny.gov/recreation/swimming.

While the Atlantic hurricane season began in June, the threat of tropical storms impacting New York state is traditionally highest in the months of September and October. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently increased its prediction for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, shifting from a near-normal level of activity to an above-normal level of activity. As of August, NOAA forecasters predicted a total of 14-21 named storms during the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

Governor Green and Airbnb.org announce housing support for Maui

Key Takeaways

– Airbnb.org will provide free, temporary stays for at least 1,000 people displaced by the wildfires in Maui.
– Airbnb.org will work with nonprofit organizations like Maui Economic Opportunity and Global Empowerment Mission to connect people to stays.

WEBWIRE

Governor Josh Green, M.D. and Airbnb.org have announced a commitment to provide free, temporary stays for at least 1,000 people displaced by the Maui wildfires. Airbnb.org will work with its network of Airbnb Hosts and organizations in the state of Hawaiʻi to connect people to temporary housing in the coming days and weeks.

We are so incredibly appreciative of the outpouring of community support for Maui in offering their properties to house those deeply affected by the Maui fires. This is aloha in action.

Governor Green

With thousands in need of temporary housing following the devastating wildfires in Maui, Airbnb.org will work with nonprofit organizations like Maui Economic Opportunity to connect people with temporary housing. Airbnb.org is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis.

Since the fires began, Airbnb.org has been in close conversations with Governor Green, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Human Services, and the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency to assess needs on the ground and determine how best to provide support. Based on the guidance received, Airbnb.org is working to connect people impacted by the wildfires with emergency stays in parts of Maui and the surrounding areas that are deemed safe. These stays are funded by Airbnb, Inc., donors to Airbnb.org, and the generosity of Airbnb.org Hosts.

How it will work

Stays for people in need of temporary housing will be facilitated by Airbnb staff volunteers, Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO), Global Empowerment Mission (GEM), and other trusted nonprofits and government entities, who will review the eligibility of potential guests and help connect them with stays.

We are so grateful for our collaboration with Airbnb.org. Weve been on the ground in Maui since day 2 of the historic fires. The most important need here is housing. This short-term housing program gives families an ability to leave shelters and start the stabilization and healing process for the next phase of their lives.

Michael Capponi, Founder and President, Global Empowerment Mission

How to help

Governor Green and Airbnb.org urge compassionate people interested in supporting this effort to:

  • Offer a place to stay: Anyone with a home or spare room in the state of Hawaiʻi can make it available to survivors for free or at a discount by signing up with Airbnb.org.
  • Donate to Airbnb.org: You can also donate to Airbnb.org and help fund emergency stays. 100 percent of donations go toward covering the cost of temporary stays for survivors of the wildfires and other crises.

Affected residents

Airbnb.org does not currently accept requests from individuals for direct emergency assistance. All stays for displaced residents will be coordinated through Airbnb.orgs network of trusted nonprofits and government entities.

The commitment in Maui is part of Airbnb.orgs work to support communities impacted by natural disasters and large-scale crises around the world.

To learn more about Airbnb.org and how to support survivors of the Maui wildfires, visit airbnb.org/maui_fires.

About Airbnb

Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to over 4 million Hosts who have welcomed over 1.5 billion guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Every day, Hosts offer unique stays and experiences that make it possible for guests to connect with communities in a more authentic way.

About Airbnb.org

Airbnb.orgis a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis around the world.Airbnb.orgoperates independently and leverages Airbnb, Inc.s technology, services, and other resources at no charge to carry outAirbnb.orgs charitable purpose. The inspiration forAirbnb.org began in 2012 with a single host named Shell who opened up her home to people impacted by Hurricane Sandy. This sparked a movement and marked the beginning of a program that allows Hosts on Airbnb to provide stays for people in times of need. Since then, the program has evolved to focus on emergency response and to help provide stays to evacuees, relief workers, refugees, asylum seekers, andfrontline workers fighting the spread of COVID-19. Since then, Hosts have offered to open up their homes and helped provide accommodations to 100,000 people in times of need.Airbnb.orgis a separate and independent entity from Airbnb, Inc. Airbnb, Inc. does not charge service fees forAirbnb.orgsupported stays on its platform.