Valerie’s House builds a new home to help grieving families

Published: July 18, 2022 4:36 PM EDT
Updated: July 18, 2022 4:42 PM EDT

Valerie’s House is building a new home to provide a safe and local community for children and families grieving the death of a loved one.

Construction of the new Valerie’s House will soon be underway.

The new 7,000-square-foot facility will provide the organization with a larger location on Shoemaker Lane in Fort Myers.

Calli Lowe, the Program Coordinator at Valerie’s House said, “we’re very excited for the new home.”

Lowe said while the work continues on the new home, grief support groups continue at their three locations and they’re packed.

“Families are just experiencing a different type of grief right now,” Lowe said.

Valerie’s House has more than 800 kids and parents dealing with the loss of someone to COVID-19.

“We’ve even seen kids are feeling so much more down and depressed, they didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to their loved one because they’re in the hospital,” Lowe said.

That’s why the new forever home is so needed.

Sterling Lund is a Project Manager for Valerie’s House.

“As you can see behind us, it is cleared and the land is already but we’re just waiting for a couple of things,” Lund said.

Lund said the goal is to expand services because there will always be kids who need a lift and a helping hand.

“It’s an internal light bulb moment for them when they realize that they aren’t alone and that their friends, their kids their age are also going through something like that. It’s just really special,” Lowe said.

Valerie’s House said they do not turn anyone away. When they do run out of room, group sessions are held inside and outside of the home, and that’s why they’re excited for the new forever home.

Construction is set to begin on August 1 and will take a year to complete.