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Valerie's House breaks ground on new forever home in Fort Myers

Valerie House Groundbreaking
Posted at 12:54 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 18:38:38-04

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — One in seven children in Florida is predicted to lose a parent or sibling by the age of 25, according to the 2022 Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model.

That's why Valerie’s House has made it their mission to help children and families going through the grieving process.

On Friday Valerie’s House broke ground on their new forever home.

They say this future home means no child will ever have to grieve alone.

Angela Melvin, the founder and CEO of Valerie’s House says there’s been a lot of loved ones lost in this community.

She says just this week a 12-year-old was killed after being hit by a car in the Walmart parking lot in Cape Coral.

“That 12-year-old was the best friend of a little girl who already comes here because her dad died in a car accident,” Melvin said.

Melvin lost her mother at the age of 10. Her own experience is what led her to open Valerie's House in 2016.

Since then they’ve helped more than 2,000 children and their families in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Hendry counties.

Valerie's House not only provides children with mentorship programs, but also with grieving and mental health counselors at no cost.

The land for the house was donated by the City of Fort Myers under a one dollar a year for 99 years land lease.

More than $2 million dollars were raised to build the house.

“We want to always be on the cutting edge and front and center of how best to help children grieving in this community,” Melvin said.

The home is expected to open its doors by next summer.