This German Website Helps Refugees Find Housing

Source, Getty Images
Source, Getty Images / Source, Getty Images

A German couple has rolled out the welcome map to asylum-seekers—and they hope the rest of the Internet will follow suit.

Refugees Welcome, a website that matches refugees with shared apartments or housing in Austria and Germany, is the brainchild of Marieke Geiling and Jonas Kakoschke. The two created the website to provide comfortable homes for the 200,000 or so applicants who applied to live in Germany in 2014—many of them from war-stricken Middle Eastern countries.

Individuals interested in sharing their living accommodations can sign up on the website. They’re directed to a refugee organization, which connects them with an asylum-seeker in their city. And if they’re worried about the accompanying financial burden, they shouldn’t be; Refugees Welcome helps fundraise money to pay rent.

According to NPR, more than 400 people in Germany had applied to participate as of spring 2015. And Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that 124 refugees from Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have been matched with apartments in Germany and Austria.

One might call Refugees Welcome a more humanitarian Craigslist, or they could chalk up its existence to good old-fashioned hospitality. “We are convinced that refugees should not be stigmatized and excluded by being housed in mass accommodations,” says the Refugees Welcome homepage. “Instead, we should offer them a warm welcome.”

[h/t The Independent]