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TOPS Plaza Gives Back to Community

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

It's been seven years in the making.

For this ex-convict, it's something that shows he's giving back.

"I hurt the community myself. When I was out there on drugs, I was out there robbing people, and this is what I must do. Clean up where I have messed up. It's on me so bad because I realize how much I owe, my mother my father I owe my children, I owe everybody in the community," says Kenneth Glasgow, The Ordinary People Society.

"I realize just how bad and influence I really was, and now I want to be that much of an influence for doing well," says Glasgow.

The now Reverend Kenneth Glasgow started the ordinary people's society when he got out of prison.

It was his goal to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and teach the community how to get and keep a job.

With the new Empowerment Center at Evergreen Plaza, T.O.P.S. leaders will be able to teach, consult and minister to the troubled and the poor of the Wiregrass.

“It’s (Room 12) for newspaper for people to learn how to do posters, flyers and other stuff. The computer room is just on the other side,” says Glasgow, “and in room 11 will be a studio for gospel and positive music."

"We’ve got two private rooms for the nurses for people to come and get their diabetes checked and all different things checked for the elderly," says Glasgow.

"What we actually look at it as is we actually being able to sit and lend and ear and listen to people, and to help deal with their problems because we all go through some of the same problems," Maurice Graham, The Ordinary People Society.

"Anytime you empower people in the city, you start to diminish the crime, diminish the recidivism, the overcrowding and definitely diminish the victims," says Glasgow.

Like the building itself-- donated to tops by Ron Wilson of WJJN 92.1 -- all of the tops outreach has come strictly from donations.

"Not only have we never received any grants, it's all paid for by the people... but also, no one has ever been paid a salary. All of this has been done by volunteers. [Do you get paid?] No," says Glasgow.

"I look at what's going on in Dothan. I look at what's going on in the downtown area, them restoring the community. It’s more than restoring the buildings, you also have to restore the people, "says Deborah Thomas, Development Director for T.O.P.S.

It’s restoring the people, by empowering the people.

There are 18 branches of The Ordinary People Society throughout Alabama.

If you'd like to get involved, call 671-2282 or log on to www.wearetops.org


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