Ian Yaffe ’09 Lends Hand to Help Farmworkers in Maine

Ian Yaffe '09 (right) and first tenant Janie Thompson-Ostorga cut the ribbon to formally open Hand in Hand Apartments.

A proud Ian Yaffe ’09 welcomed hundreds of community members from Milbridge, Maine, to the formal opening of Hand in Hand Apartments, the state’s first affordable housing project for farmworkers.

Though the project is small, the six-unit subsidized apartment building is an important step toward achieving affordable housing.

“These apartments represent the vision of an entire community and long overdue support for some of the families who embody the character and tradition of Downeast Maine,” says Yaffe, executive director of Mano en Mano, a non-profit organization that strives to build a strong and diverse community in the region.

A top priority of the organization has been to provide affordable housing opportunities for the many Latino immigrant workers who have settled in the area over the past fifteen years.

“Families benefiting from this project are working families,” says Yaffe. “Like so many of us, they are hard-working folks who want nothing more than to put in a full day’s work and be able to afford to feed, shelter, and educate their children.”

While studying at Bowdoin Yaffe spearheaded the Food Forward program, a student-run service organization that donates food to the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.

Several media outlets covered the ribbon-cutting event, including the Bangor Daily NewsWABI and WLBZ.

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