“Airbnb helped me save my home”

In many ways, Airbnb has been a game changer for Gayle, a host in the South Bronx Mott Haven neighborhood.

Gayle returned to the Bronx in September 2013 after her mom passed away.

It was my responsibility to save the only thing my mom had ever purchased after moving from Jamaica to the United States. After fighting with my mortgage lender, it was decided the house would go into foreclosure. Though I had a few bucks saved up and a small cash flow, there was no way I was going to save my mom’s legacy.

Around this time, Gayle faced another set back. Her chronic health condition worsened and she needed two emergency surgeries.

Since she can’t find permanent employment while recovering from her surgeries, a friend suggested that she share some of the extra rooms in her home on Airbnb. Gayle immediately got to work sprucing up the rooms, and the bookings started to flow in. The supplemental income earned by welcoming travelers made all the difference.

Without Airbnb, I wouldn’t have been able to pull my mom’s home out of foreclosure. If I lost the house it would have been devastating — like losing my mom twice.

Gayle’s guests have been a new source of joy in her life. Because she’s currently unable to travel, Airbnb helps bring culture from around the globe into her home.

My guests have been phenomenal. We have gone shopping on 3rd Ave, hung out at the Bronx Zoo and taken walks to Yankee Stadium. We’ve cooked together while exchanging cultures and customs. I’ve made fantastic friends who keep in touch via social media and some even go out their way to send wonderful holiday postcards.