Avesta Housing presents STRIVE U with Mike Yandell Award

STRIVE U of South Portland has been awarded the Avesta Housing Mike Yandell Award for its extraordinary work in the field of affordable housing. Avesta Housing President & CEO Dana Totman presented the award on June 22 to Pete Brown, associate director of PSL Services/STRIVE, during Avesta’s grand opening celebration of Deering Place, a 75-unit affordable housing development in downtown Portland.

Named for the late Mike Yandell, a former Avesta Housing board chair and the former president of Gorham Savings Bank who is remembered for his commitment to improving the community, the award is presented to an individual or organization that helps provide safe, quality, affordable housing to people in Maine or New Hampshire.

STRIVE U teaches adults ages 18 to 25 with emotional and intellectual disabilities the skills needed to live independently. Avesta Housing partners with PSL Services/STRIVE to provide affordable housing and services to STRIVE U graduates.

“At Avesta, we respect independence, and we also want to ensure that help and guidance are provided to residents as needed,” Totman said. “There’s a very difficult balance between allowing people to live on their own and providing help when needed. STRIVE U provides that level of service and support to residents so that they can succeed. Quite simply, they get it right.”