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FORT MYERS, FLA. February 9, 2023 – In honor of Black History Month, Valerie’s House has released a special podcast to help Black families grieve the loss of loved ones.

“Black families say they often are left without knowing where to go when they have lost a loved one.  We’re hoping this podcast will reach into pockets of the community that often don’t have a voice,” said Valerie’s House Founder and CEO Angela Melvin.

Black Americans are three times more likely than White Americans to have two or more family members die by the time they reach age 30, Melvin said.

The current podcast, which began airing February 10, includes two guests who have lost loved ones.  Tasheekia Harris, founder of Crowning Daughters for Success as well as the co-founder of Impact Dunbar and a mentor of young boys and girls, gives insight into how she felt after losing her brother.

“Grief is very real.  It is not something you can bury.  You can only put so much dirt on top of it,” Harris says in the podcast. “A lot of distrust, a lot of denial, and the strong men mentality has prevented a lot of the Black community from asking for help.”

Teacher Janee Robinson, who also is a Valerie’s House mother, is a second guest on the podcast and explains how the loss of her daughter’s father made her feel isolated and alone.

“If we don’t address self-esteem, we can’t work on the grief.  Knowing your worth is so important,” Robinson says in the podcast.  “Asking for help isn’t easy, but I’m glad we did.”

The current Grieve, Love, Heal podcast is the 12th in the Valerie’s House series, which was launched in 2019, and can be found on all your favorite podcast apps such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts or on the Valerie’s House website.  The direct link is: Valerie’s House is planning a different topic each quarter on the podcast.  

Valerie’s House has helped more than 2,000 children and their families since its founding in 2016 by Angela Melvin, whose mother Valerie 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 activitiesat locations in Fort Myers, Naples, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Pensacola. Valerie’s House is a United Way partner agency and is fully supported by community donations.

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 Escambia 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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