Where Grieving Hearts Heal
Bereavement Center Inc.
About Angel House
Christina Cassani, Denise Sowell Montford, Janice Chavers, Lisa Herring
Cofounders of Angel House Bereavement Center
The Story of Angel House
Angel House Bereavement Center a non-profit 501(c) (3) was established to help children, adolescents and adults struggling with the pain of life-altering loss from either death, trauma or significant life change. We are the only providers of clinical grief counseling in Bay and surrounding counties.
When I started working for hospice in 1996, I began the journey that would eventually lead to the opening of Angel House Bereavement Center in 2015. As the social worker and bereavement specialist, I felt honored to walk alongside patients and families in their grief journeys. Early on, I felt like I had found my niche and dreamed of one day opening a bereavement center.
In 2006, we had a bereavement specialist position open and in my position as the bereavement program coordinator, I was the one who did the initial screening of the applicants. When I spoke with Christina Cassani on the phone, I knew she was the perfect person for the job. Christina shared with me several times that she felt she had found her calling. Over the next 9 years, Christina and I developed a friendship and found that we shared a common dream. That dream was to one day open a free-standing bereavement center. We didn’t know how, when, or where, but had faith that it would happen.
In January 2015, the opportunity presented itself and we were able to start the process of opening Angel House Bereavement Center. Our other co-founders, Janice Chavers and Lisa Herring, along with 10 volunteers joining us in making our dream a reality. Our mission then and now is to help grieving individuals who have experienced any type of loss related to death, trauma, or any life transition.
Since our opening in 2015, all of us at Angel House have experienced losses and life transitions. We were deeply impacted by the death of our first executive director and co-founder, Christina Cassani in September 2017. In sharing our grief together, our team was able to move forward and continue to fulfill the dream and mission of Angel House.
Through the transitions, we have continued to serve hundreds of individuals in our community. Angel House has grown, and we have added staff members and volunteers to our team. It has taken each one of us to make Angel House what it is today. We are grateful for all the support we have received from our community and proud to provide bereavement services to individuals in our community.
Denise Sowell Montford, LCSW, CCTP
President and Executive Director, 2018 - Present