ECHO Village in Eureka Springs opens for people in need

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. - Cassie Hale and her two boys finally can call a house in ECHO Village their home, after living with family while she juggled work and school.

"I do clinicals at Cox and Branson three days a week," Hale said. "And then two days a week I go to class at Harrison."

She's studying to be a radiologic technologist, but right now it's hard for her to pay the bills.

"With school, I had to drop hours at the restaurant, so now I'm only doing two days a week. And that just didn't leave enough," Hale said.

She applied to get into ECHO Village, went through the interview process, and was one of the few who actually were accepted.

"It's just so much better than what I could have ever imagined," Hale said.

Now she and her boys don't have to share a bedroom.

“They're excited about that. And everything is superhero right now," Hale said.

This village is a $1.6 million project headed by Dr. Dan Bell and Suzie Bell.

"Everybody is paying a rent based on what they're capable of paying. And also we're using HUD guidelines, and so they're low-rent housing," said Dr. Dan Bell, the project manager at the village.

The Bells said there is a mix of people they accepted to live in the village.

"Whether or not we can really help that person get that hand up not that hand out," said Suzie Bell, the grant director.

So far eight of the nine houses are filled.

A ninth house will be filled soon, while a 10th house is being built right now.

The Bells are thrilled to turn those houses truly into homes.

"There's a few folks who aren't really destitute. They're not homeless. But they do need low-rent housing. They're just good, solid people that are going to be here chronically to help people who are in need. There's others that are homeless, in transition, that really need to be rescued, with mental health issues," Bell said.

The Bells hope to complete the 10th home by the end of the year.