Jacksonville-based national family advocacy group Operation Save Our Sons will hold an event Saturday morning at Ribault High School designed to help men who didn't have strong male role models in their lives while growing up become better fathers themselves.
Standing in the front of his church's pews, Operation Save Our Sons National Director Dr. John Guns said they specifically decided on the location for a press conference because its been the site of over a dozen caskets of young men who died a violent death.
Guns says he's probably presided over more funerals of young homicide victims than any other pastor in town.
According to Guns, most of the victims and perpetrators did not have a father who was a major part of their lives. He says that trend needs to change.
The "Fathers Calling Fathers" event will bring people in from around the country to talk about the importance of a father being part of his child's life and learning the skills needed to be a good attentive father.
The success of such initiatives on a national level is mixed.
Vice-President of Development and Communication for the National Fatherhood Initiative Vincent DiCaro says the best initiatives focus on programs that can quantified, and there needs to be major effort at getting to the fathers who have the greatest need.
DiCaro says they are the one least likely to seek help. He says his group goes to the source and visits jails, military bases and child support offices.
He also says mothers need to be involved is such programs too because in many cases a father may be prevented from developing a better relationship with their children due to issues with the mother.
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Correction: A previously published version of this story contained incorrect spelling for Vincent DiCaro.