Faith group hosts Halloween festival for Jacksonville housing community

Local faith group Sponsored by Grace hosted a fall festival at the Celebration Dream Center for families and residents who may be facing difficult times in the Jacksonville area. They say their mission is to help children in poverty meet their physical needs with the help of the Gospel.

Families from across the area brought their children to the free event today, thanks to local donations.

Jacksonville mother Brandi Delony brought her two sons and nephew to the event and said she is grateful for this opportunity.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” Delony said. “It’s nice that we have people out here caring about our kids and the community. It’s very nice to have these people here next door to us and devote their time and money to the community.”

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Crime Map showed more than 70 reported crimes with a few miles of the area since April. Sponsored by Grace said they chose this area to work with the Dream Center and help families who live in the area.

“It’s a tough Zip code. A lot of people just come from hard times and stuff like that. There’s crime in the area unfortunately,” Sponsored by Grace’s Fran Mirmina said. “So what better place than to start where people might need it most?”

The Dream Center usually hosts events each Saturday for the neighborhood. Neighbors said they feel the community support.

“Look around and see that they’re making such an improvement and so many volunteers and they do stuff,” resident Louise Adams said. “They give up their Saturdays to do stuff. It’s just wonderful.”