Posted on February 25, 2017 at 10:37 AM
By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist
By Josh Meltzer
In the coming-of-age movie “Garden State,” Zach Braff’s character Andrew Largeman bemoans the disorienting feeling of lacking a home:
“You’ll see one day when you move out…You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage…You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself.”
That feeling of home, of belonging, is at the heart of Airbnb’s mission. We seek to build a world in which people can belong anywhere — in over 34,000 big cities and small towns in 192 countries worldwide.
It is a sentiment rooted in the warm embrace of our host community — including 6,100 hosts right here in New Jersey who welcomed nearly 260,000 guests in 2016, double the number from 2015. These guests are coming from across the country and around the world, with 24 percent from outside North America.
The vast majority of Garden State hosts are middle class New Jerseyans who share their homes occasionally to pay for their mortgage, medicine, and student loans, or save money for retirement or a rainy day. In fact, last year, the typical host shared their home for fewer than 4 days a month, bringing in $6,200 to help make ends meet.