Is the process of Hosting or being a Guest safe?
Compared to staying put on the streets, it is definitely safer to be a guest than to remain on the streets. In any environment where people who are vulnerable are seeking shelter or an escape from the hardships of life on the streets, there is the potential for those vulnerable individuals to be caught up in the underground world of human trafficking. All I can say about that at this point is buyer beware. Even seemingly reputable outfits such as airbnb.com are littered with listings made by people who are breaking the law at one level or another. While I have not heard of any cases of human trafficking occurring as the result of using the sites recommended on the third party bookings primer page, located here https://couchhosting.org/3rd-party-bookings-primer
I have heard of the more traditional hotel chains becoming involved by hook or crook in the human trafficking business. Because CouchHosting.org is a sole proprietorship and the trouble and potential expense of policing in house listings to get them to conform to the requirements of the revised communications decency act are beyond my personal means to deal with, I have removed all in house listings of places to rent or crash at and now I only have links to third party sites, who are presumably soley responsible for the content of their web sites.
When choosing a place to stay at, It may be a good idea to have single women stay with women or couples, and single men stay with men or couples, just like the way many homeless shelters are run. Except that with this system, couples and children can all stay together and it is not as big a deal if they choose to stay with women or with men.
What is the purpose of FreeWorlder?
My vision for what can be accomplished with the FreeWorlder app is huge! This app was discovered and is being helped along in its development by volunteers working with the Sharing Connection group in Eugene, OR, USA, a group of people who believe in having a cashless economy where most of our basic needs are met for free. This FreeWorlder app, where you can sign up to get stuff for free and give away stuff for free, could usher in a brand new era of a cashless economy where lots of things, up to and including room and board, are all free. Think of what that would do to the cost of renting a dwelling unit if all of the landlords were put on notice that they are now 'competing with zero'. There still would be good reasons to charge money for a dwelling, since it would often not be just a room in someone's house or a couch to sleep on for a few days at a time. But the downward pressure on rental rates would occur all the same. Another part of the couchhosting.org site that causes downward pressure on rents is the co-signing opportunities page. When the landlord's potential losses due to a lease default are completely taken care of due to the widespread use of corporate co-signers, the cost of providing the rental units drops dramatically. The landlord can choose to either pocket the difference or heaven forbid actually 'play fair' and lower the rents that he/she is charging or at least not have as much reason to continue raising the rents.
People might be thinking 'well it's great to get stuff for free, but what is in it for me if I just start giving away some of my stuff for free?' The answer is that when you become an established part of the FreeWorlder community, people can see by the stats displayed in your profile whether you are primarily a giver or just a taker or have a balance of both. I submit that they are more likely to give something for free to a person who has profile stats that suggest that they have a balance between giving and taking and/or that they are a giver. If by being an established member of the FreeWorlder community you are getting as much that you really need as you give away, I submit that you will have more cash available to spend on things that still cost money and/or you can actually put some of that spare cash into savings or investments.
If you have any other questions that you would like to see added to this list, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.