By Tiffany Chan

BOSTON, MA (CBS) – A group of clergymen gathered at the Baker House in Dorchester calling for a “Summer of Peace” on this Father’s Day. Rev. Kevin Peterson, who led the event, told WBZ-TV that he’s concerned about the spike in homicides and gun violence since the start of the pandemic.

Peterson joined the national call of 1,000 churches that will shift their focus to mentoring at-risk youth.

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“Black men and Black fathers matter. So we turn to each other, not against each other,” said Rev. Peterson.

Speakers stressed the importance of a strong father figure in a child’s life.

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Boston Police officer and father Emmanuel Dambreville said change starts in the streets by connecting young people with law enforcement through community service.

“When we’re on the streets, we actually check on neighbors – make sure that they’re getting the resources they needed,” Dambreville explained about his group, Heal Boston. “COVID is going on, a lot of people are just stuck in the houses, you’ve got elderly folks that need resources, who need help. So we focus on the elderly, on distressed families.”

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Young people with Heal Boston deliver goods to those in need.

Tiffany Chan