Opp Housing Authority’s Strong Family Celebration aimed to strengthen family bonds

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 27, 2019

The goal of Opp Housing Authority’s Strong Family Celebration is to strengthen the bond between families, OHA director Beverly Barber said.

The initiative started in 2012, when President Barack Obama was still in office, Barber said.

“Back then it was called the Father’s Day initiative,” Barber said. “Then whenever Trump got into office, he changed it to the Strong Families Initiative.”

Though the name changed, Barber said that the goal is still the same.

“With this event we are trying to strengthen the bond between families,” Barber said. “The focus is on both parents who will be able to be connected to different aids of service that we provide at the event. We are trying to help connect fathers and mothers and help different families succeed.”

At the event, several supportive services will be there including health and wellness education, health screenings, job training and educational information, information from the National Guard, banking information and voter registration.

“With these different supportive services, it will help strengthen families,” Barber said. “We want to empower these families by giving them these opportunities to meet with the people that provide these services. I believe services like these do help strengthen a family bond.”

There will also be activities for children at the event including a waterslide, a rock wall, free haircuts, free food and music.

Barber said that the best part of the event is the collaboration between the companies and the families.

“Just everyone coming together is the best part,” Barber said. “This is not only a housing authority celebration. Anyone is invited. So, just having the service providers talk to them and saying, ‘Hey, we have this if you want it.’”

Last year, Barber said more than 250 people showed up to the event and she plans on the same number showing this year.

That same day, the Opp Housing Authority cheerleaders and the basketball team will have a fish fry to fundraise money.

“We take them to a competition once a year, and this year it is in Birmingham,” Barber said. “It is the Martin Luther King Day weekend and they play games all that weekend. This fish fry will help raise money for travel expenses, hotel, food and gas.”

The event will be at the Opp Housing Authority, Sat., June 29, from 10 a.m., until 2 p.m.

The Family Celebration is free and the fish fry plates are $10 each.