Group of men in Akron band together to form 'Neighborhood Dads' to combat violence among teens

AKRON, Ohio - Several men in Akron said they have grown disgusted with violence among teens. To combat the problem, they are forming a network to promote positivity called "Neighborhood Dads." The men will serve as surrogate fathers, as they provide direction to youth.

"When I think about a dad, it’s a mentor; someone’s going to talk to you, see what’s going on with you. help you in whatever situation that’s going on with them,” said Edward Smith. "I was raised by a stepdad and he changed my life. I was coached by some coaches that cared about me and showed me disciple and values."

Smith said the initiative will save lives.

"My son was murdered in 2013,” said Smith. "He was a really good kid."

"We’re blessed to have a rich community of people that want to be engaged,” said Ward 4 Councilman, Russel Neal. "That’s important because no one person can do it by themselves. It’s crucial because we need to coordinate our efforts together."

The next meeting will be at the Lawton Community Center on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. in Akron.

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