Community center a shining light in rough neighborhood - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Community center a shining light in rough neighborhood

Visitors tour Common Ground Montgomery during the center's open house block party.  It's located on Mobile Road in West Montgomery. Visitors tour Common Ground Montgomery during the center's open house block party. It's located on Mobile Road in West Montgomery.

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Inside the doors of Common Ground Montgomery, is a world much different than the one outside them.

In the midst of a rough neighborhood, Common Ground's community center is officially open.

The center celebrated its grand opening with a block party and ribbon cutting Thursday evening.

It's a haven giving kids a safe place to play and study.

"They help with the stuff you're going through," says one student.

Common Ground Founder Bryan Kelly says the new building is more than just four walls.

"A lot of kids coming off the streets to be within our gate.  And they can play basketball inside, they can be a part of after school tutoring, there's Bible study."

But adults like Irvin Williams hang out there, too.

A life of crime in the same neighborhood landed Williams in prison.

But because of a WSFA 12 News story, Williams found out about the center.

"I watched the ten o'clock news and I [saw] it...and I had just prayed for God to open the door for me to come here."

He says the day after he got out of prison he was there...giving back.

"Show the kids a better way of life...so they won't have to go through the things I went through."

For Williams, it's an organization keeping more than just kids off the streets.

"Common Ground Montgomery has given me another aspect of life...showed me a better way of life."

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