Future village in Midland Co. hopes to reduce homeless population

Future village in Midland Co. hopes to reduce homeless population

MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - It's no secret the City of Midland has a growing homeless population. There's about 300 homeless people in Midland.

One Midland man is making moves to bring that number down, even going as far as selling his own home.

John-Mark Echols even quit his six figure salary job to start The Field's Edge and helping the homeless community.

"I had more stress making a lot of money than I do now," said Echols, President and Co-Founder of The Field's Edge. "Even though we're not always sure where everything is going to come together and how ends are going to meet."

John-Mark, his wife Briana and their daughter spent four months in Austin, Texas, living in a community of single person homes for the homeless. Now, John-Mark wants to bring the idea to West Texas.

"This is actually a permanent supportive community where these people are coming home forever," said Echols. "We're committing to them that this is a place for them to be as long as they live, as long as they want to."

The village will have about 100 homes with counseling, mental and physical health care on-site, one missionary family for every 10 people and different job opportunities.

"The house itself doesn't solve the homelessness," said Echols. "It's the family and the community around them that really brings them out of that lifestyle, the horrors of homelessness that they've been existing in sometimes for decades."

To qualify, a person must be homeless in Midland County for at least one year and can't be on the sex offender registry or have a history of violent crimes.

"We're working to develop the heart to heart relationships with people in our community, interacting and getting to know the homeless personally so that a lot of the stereotypes are broken," said Echols.

Right now, The Field's Edge is in the process of finding land for the village, when it's complete it'll be the first community of its kind outside of Austin. For information on how to get involved visit http://www.thefieldsedge.org/

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.