"Over 24 million who children wake up every day who don't have the benefit of having a father in their life. We have two out of three African American children who don't have the benefit of a fathered relationship," said Thabiti Bonne, member of President Obama's Fatherhood Initiative.
On Saturday Thabiti Boone, a member of president Obama's Fatherhood Initiative led a discussion at Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Rochester about the importance of fathers in the family.
"We cannot do anything to thrive and progress our communities and families without making sure we have the important critical roles of our fathers in the lives of our children and families and communities," said Boone.
Boone was joined by many Rochester leaders who state that many of the problems within a community stems from the missing of a father figure in the home.
"We realize that poverty, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, academic achievement, all of these things are impacted by the father being removed from the home," said Reginald Cox, Pastor of Changing Lives Worship Center.
Residents who attended the event said the numbers were not what they had expected.
"I am shocked. I'm totally shocked. Its a shame it hurts my heart to hear that. I'm blessed with two children and I couldn't imagine what it would be like without them," said Hugo Divers, Rochester Resident.
"This is a serious situation. Its almost at epidemic levels. Epidemic numbers. People want to be involved you cant sit down on the topics. You have to stand up and stand for something and this is something that is affecting everybody in the community not just males," said Rochester resident Perry Johnson.
"It's a very big challenge to raise children and if you have two parents raising a child its better than one," said James Norman, Rochester Resident.
Pastor Rickey Harvey at Mount Olivet Church hopes that people get one message out of Saturdays event.
"Love your sons, love your daughters. Be their role model," said Harvey.
Boone said he hopes people leave this event with a better idea of the importance of being involved in their children's lives.
"There is too many children just not having fathers around. Too many young people are not being mentored," said Boone.