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Hundreds of asylum seekers receive help through Maine man’s bicycle repairs

Three years and 400 bikes later, Brian Diamond-Falk continues to help those in need.

PORTLAND, Maine — Since the start of the year, over a thousand asylum seekers have arrived in Maine. Most of them do not have any means of transportation. 

However, one man is working to change that. 

Brian Diamond-Falk, a culinary instructor at Southern Maine Community College, spends his free time repairing bikes to provide transportation to asylum seekers.

Not everyone can afford a car and the costs that come with it, which makes riding a bike a great option. 

He repaired his first bike in 2020 after realizing new Mainers in his neighborhood needed a means of transportation. 

Three years and 400 bikes later, he continues to help those in need.

"Almost everyone that I've interacted with needs these bikes for a purpose. They want them to get to work, to get to school, they want them to get the food and groceries that they need," Diamond-Falk said.

For this one-man band, repairing a bike can take up to a month, and it can cost him anywhere from $10 to $100 per bike, out of his pocket. 

Despite the challenges, he remains committed to providing transportation to anyone who needs it. 

"We have no criteria for who can receive a bike. Anyone who wants or needs a bike can get one," Rosemarie De Angelis said. 

De Angelis works with Diamond-Falk to distribute the bikes. 

Diamond-Falk is usually found in his garage working away on old bikes when he is not teaching or busy being a father of three.

"For the most part, it's just me and my radio out here," Diamond-Falk said.

The efforts of Diamond-Falk have not gone unnoticed. The work has caught the attention of many and continues to receive support from the community. 

Through his efforts, he has provided transportation to many asylum seekers and has made a positive impact on their lives.

For more information on donations and Diamond-Falk's process, you can head over to his Facebook page.

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