Hope, inspiration and fun were the focus of Alexander City Housing Authority’s strong families event Friday at the Springhill Youth and Adult Center. 

Children were hosed down by the Alexander City Fire Department, went down an inflatable water slide and enjoyed cotton candy. 

The event started with inspirational speaker El Toro Freeman encouraging the audience and rapper Vy Moon performing inspirational songs “Just Foolish” and “All I Know.”

“I want you to take a second and close your eyes and envision your dream. Envision your dream,” Freeman said. “I want you to make a promise to yourself today that you will never lose sight.”

Housing authority executive director Donna Gabel said this is the second year of the event. 

“It’s about recognizing what the family unit means and we feel that we do more than just house families here,” Gabel said. “We feel like we help provide a stable environment. We encourage them toward self-sufficiency. We help them get further education or find jobs.”

The event featured a basketball inflatable house, face painting, cornhole tournament and booths from the Alexander City School System, Alexander City Police Department and Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department. The Phi Beta Sigma step team also performed. 

“Mostly it’s for the kids to have fun but we also want to educate the children as well as the families on some of the safety concerns that need to be gearing up toward with our children this day and age,” Gabel said.

Housing resident Carol Sandlin said the event was good for the community.

“This shows (children) there’s more to life and this is how everybody gets along,” Sandlin said.

Resident Starkeda Stowes said the event gives children hope they can have a bright future.

“You don’t see this often that they do stuff like this in the community, so it’s really nice,” Stowes said.

The housing authority has 477 units and 265 housing choice vouchers throughout Tallapoosa County, according to Gabel.

“I think a lot of people have a misconception of public housing and its regular people,” Gabel said. “It could be anybody. My father-in-law used to live in one of our elderly sites and we want to provide a clean, safe, sanitary environment for our tenants to be able to live in and play and to be able to call this their community and their neighborhood.”