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Arson limits options for foster teens

Supporters of DYMOI Manor say they plan to rebuild after fire destroyed their safe haven for teens coming out of foster care and into adulthood.

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -

May is foster care awareness month.

To help raise awareness some of the bridges crossing the Arkansas river between Little Rock and North Little Rock are lit up in blue.

Blue is the official color of foster care awareness month.

Blue also describes the mood of those who believe in the mission of Bethesda's DYMOI Manor.

That's because during the early morning hours of April 17th the transitional home at 3400 West 14th street in Little Rock for teens aging out of foster care was set on fire.

The primary suspect is a former resident.

"We recognize that there are going to be some who take advantage of the services and the relationships that we are offering,” says Milton Graham, co-founder of DYMOI Manor. “There are going to be those who reject it. And we believe that through our perseverance even for those who decide that they don't want that or they don't recognize the value of it...we've planted some seeds along the way."

One former resident wrote a letter last month...from a jail cell: "I did enjoy my time there...I really do regret the fact that I did do more talking than working toward what I really should have been doing."

"That's a win,” says facility co-director David Wynn. “It's not a complete, successful win. But it's a win nonetheless. Maybe once he cleared there he went on and did something better with his life."

David Wynn runs the transitional home with his wife Yvonne. But now they no longer have a home to run.

And there is one fewer option available for teens leaving foster care and entering adulthood with very shallow roots and very little support.

"But we're going to rebuild,” assures David Wynn. “Whatever it takes. We'll soon have a Go Fund Me page up. And for people who want to donate we'll have some options for that."

For now Immerse Arkansas is the primary source of transitional housing in Pulaski county for teens aging out of foster care.

If you want to help DYMOI manor (which stands for Developing Young Men Of Integrity) become an option again here are some options:

You can visit any Centennial Bank and donate to Five Porches CDC, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation founded by Bethesda MBC Senior Pastor Milton Graham. Designate your donation to benefit “Bethesda’s D.Y.M.O.I. Manor. The routing number is 082008732. The account number is 4100573.

You can also donate online by visiting the CrowdRise page named “Bethesda’s D.Y.M.O.I. Ministry Resurrection Project.

Surveillance video has helped investigators identify two of the three men involved in this arson but no arrests have been made.

Air date: May 10th, 2017

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