August 31, 2017
Hurricane Harvey is much worse than we ever could’ve imagined. With near three times as much rain falling on Houston than did on New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, millions have been left stranded and homeless without a place to live. Organizations and individuals alike have done what they can to alleviate the suffering, but one surprising group has stepped in to do their part: coworking spaces.
That’s right, Texas coworking spaces in Austin and Dallas have pledged to do everything they can to make the effects of Hurricane Harvey a little less devastating. With a lot of real estate, dozens of vast networks, and plenty of resources, these coworking spaces are the perfect companies to make a serious impact.
“Several other coworking companies all came together and said the same thing,” said Shelley Delayne, founder and owner of Orange Coworking to the Austin Business Journal. “That’s what makes the coworking world work.”
As perhaps the coworking industries greatest asset, the amount of space they have to offer the victims of Hurricane Harvey is staggering, and they’re using it. WeWork spokesperson Debbee Hancock confirmed that the company’s Austin and Dallas offices will be open to displaced entrepreneurs in need of office space. Orange Coworking is also providing space to startups looking for a temporary location to wait out the storm.
In addition to the larger companies, 45 independent and locally owned Austin coworking companies have formed Austin Coworking Alliance to provide a more unified front when it comes to providing free space to those left without shelter.
On top of providing free space, WeWork has proven its commitment to helping others by asking fans and clients to donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund via CrowdRise. Established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the fund will help all those in need of assistance.
“Texas is showing us what it truly means when a community comes together to help others,” said Adam Neuman, cofounder and CEO of WeWork, in a blog post.
WeWork is about more than just organization though. After donating $150,000 to the fund themselves, the coworking company will also be matching donations up to $100,000 to make sure the people of Houston get everything they need to rebound after this natural disaster.
Providing space and funds is important, but the people of Houston need a few basic to make it through as well. Fortunately, Galvanize, the Denver-based coworking space with an office in Austin, has begun accepting canned and non-perishable food donations to send to the Central Texas Food Bank, while Capital Factory has organized a blood drive for the more unfortunate victims of the hurricane.
“Our doors are open to Houston startups who need a home,” said Bill Blackstone, Austin general manager for Galvanize. “And we’re encouraging our members to donate on Friday during the blood drive at Capital Factory.”
If you want to do more to help the people of Houston in their time of need, check out this list of reputable charities you can donate to and other ways you can help.
This article is part of a WeWork content series. WeWork provides shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses.
Photo: Flickr / Todd Dwyer
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