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FORT MYERS, FLA., June 24, 2022 – Valerie’s House broke ground on its forever home Friday, June 24, on land donated by the City of Fort Myers under a $1 a year for 99 years land lease.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by more than 100 supporters, donors, city officials and families that have received help at the non-profit that helps children grieve the loss of a loved one. 

A total of $2.5 million has been raised toward the $3 million cost of the new home to be built at 3551 Shoemaker Lane in Fort Myers.   Several room sponsorship opportunities for the community are available.

“This home will always be a place for grieving families to call their own,”

said CEO Angela Melvin.  “Regardless of what happens in the future, having this home means no child will ever have to grieve alone in our community.”

The home will be a cozy, warm, old Florida style structure, with special rooms like a volcano room, which allows children to work out any anger or other emotions they have because of their loss.  The 7,000-square-foot facility will 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.

Lennar Homes is acting as the project manager for the construction of the home, which is expected to be completed by mid-2023. 

Valerie’s House has helped more than 2,000 children and their families since its founding in 2016 by Angela Melvin, whose own mother was killed in a car accident in 1987.

One in seven 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 currently offers peer support groups and other activities at locations in Fort Myers, Naples, Punta Gorda, and Port Charlotte. Valerie’s House is a United Way partner agency and is fully supported by community donations.

For more information about Valerie’s House or to make a donation to the Forever Home Campaign, visit, call 239-478-6734, or write [email protected]

About Valerie’s House

Valerie’s House opened in January 2016 and has served more than 2,000 children and their families from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Hendry counties. 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: 1762 Fowler St. in downtown Fort Myers, 819 Myrtle Terrace in Naples and group therapy meetings at several churches in Charlotte County.  For more information, visit

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