AKRON, Ohio — A little more than two years ago, Kenny Lambert was a homeless single dad struggling with addiction. After finding sobriety, Lambert founded an organization called “Just A Dad From Akron,” which officially has a storefront as of Saturday.
Located on the corner of Kenmore Boulevard and 13th Street, the Just A Dad From Akron storefront will sell clothing with its branding and inspiring messages, but its far more than just a t-shirt shop.
"It's a clothing company but I want to be super involved in the community, give back and just make the community a better place," Lambert said. "The main message that I tell everybody is that no matter where you're at in life, you can turn your life around and change to try to be the best version of yourself everyday."
The goal of Just A Dad From Akron is to empower local parents through community events and the uplifting messages on the clothing sold at the new storefront on Kenmore Boulevard. Members of the group help mentor children in the community and support other parents, providing a loving, encouraging environment for families to grow.
While Saturday's grand opening was a joyous time for those involved in Just A Dad From Akron, it was also somber as members came together to honor Sebastian Spencer, a member of the organization who was recently killed after his ATV collided with a snowmobile in Coventry Township.
Spencer had been looking forward to Saturday's opening for sometime, according to Lambert.
"All he talked about was March 6, that he wanted to see the store open and just to see everyone's smile and happiness to be able to come into the store that we worked so hard on," Lambert said.
To honor Spencer, Lambert and other members set up a memorial for him behind the counter so it's as if he's working at the place he held so dear to him.
Just A Dad From Akron is now located at 937 Kenmore Boulevard in Akron.