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City of Fort Myers Dedicates Valerie’s House Way

FORT MYERS, FLA. October 26, 2023 – The City of Fort Myers has renamed a city street as Valerie’s House Way, in honor of the new Valerie’s House forever home being built to provide a safe, comforting environment for children grieving the loss of a loved one.

City leaders, Valerie’s House board members, staff and families gathered for the official dedication on October 19.  The renaming of Shoemaker Lane to Valerie’s House Way was the idea of Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson who experienced the loss of his parent as a child.

“Valerie’s House Way will forever be a street in our beloved city,” said Mayor Anderson.  “Hundreds of people travel this boulevard everyday and will now see the name Valerie’s House.  We hope this will bring even more attention to the special mission of Valerie’s House.”

The new Valerie’s House is under construction with completion expected in January.

“Our house of healing will be here for generations to come,” said Valerie’s House founder and CEO Angela Melvin Churchill.  “No child will ever grieve alone in our community once this is finished.”

The home will be a cozy, warm, old Florida style structure. The 7,000-square-foot facility will also allow Valerie’s House to help more children and provide wrap-around services, such as individual grief counseling to support families who desperately need it.V

Valerie’s House was founded in Fort Myers in 2016 by Melvin, whose mother Valerie was killed in a car accident in Fort Myers in 1987. Since then, the organization has grown to help more than 3,000 children and expanded into three additional locations in Naples, Punta Gorda, and Pensacola.

One in nine children in Florida is predicted to lose a parent or sibling before the age of 25, according to the 2022 Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model.

Valerie’s House is fully supported by community donations.

If you know of a family who is in need of grief support, please go to the Valerie’s House website to find out more and enroll a family for help.

About Valerie’s House

Valerie’s House opened in January 2016 and has served more than 3,000 children and their families from Charlotte, Sarasota, Glades, Lee, Hendry and Collier counties as well as the Florida panhandle. The organization provides a safe, comfortable place for children to share, grieve and heal together following the death of a close family member. Valerie’s House has three locations in Southwest Florida: 233 East McKenzie St. in Punta Gorda, 1762 Fowler St. in downtown Fort Myers, and 819 Myrtle Terrace in Naples. Support services also are available at the Charlotte Family Services Center at 21500 Gibraltar Drive in Port Charlotte.  For more information, visit

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