By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For about 40 years, Shahn Place Inc. in Oak Cliff has served children and adults with special needs by offering free day care, services and housing, but now the nonprofit is struggling.

A fire destroyed their assisted and independent living center on Black Friday.

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Program manager Kamel Wesley said after speaking with the fire marshal, it appears the fire was intentionally set.

Shahn Place Inc. living center destroyed by fire (Erin Jones – CBS 11).

“Because some who is less fortunate broke in trying to stay warm on a cold night,” he said. ” I think Black Friday it was real, real cold and just to see you go up in flames is really disappointing.”

Just a few months ago — he officially reopened the 4,000 square foot facility for adults with special needs after having to temporarily shut it down because of the pandemic.

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The residents were excited for the holidays and had just put up the Christmas tree.

Then this.

The residents had to evacuate and now they’re trying to find a new home.

“Now they’re living with me and my family , there’s probably two or three of us right now and we’re just making ends meet,” Wesley said “We didn’t have insurance or any coverage. It hurts to see them hurting because when you’re disabled little things to them are milestones. Independent, even though it’s their own space in an apartment setting, it meant so much to them.”

Now, Wesley is hoping the community comes together to help financially.

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If you’d like to help, click here.

Erin Jones