From a parent’s worst nightmare, a dream emerged when former Temecula City Manager Shawn Nelson and his wife Stephanie shared Friday the result of a years-long effort to honor their son.
Jacob’s House – situated not even a full mile away from Temecula’s new hospital — was officially unveiled today to a small gathering of friends and partners.
The hospitality home, acquired with the help of donations, sponsors and supporters, will serve as a safe haven for families who find themselves in crisis while a loved one is being treated at the hospital nearby.
Situated on 2.3 acres of land in Santiago Estates, the four-bedroom, 3,800 square foot residential ranch-style home features ample space for families needing quiet refuge and close proximity to the hospital.
“Our mission is to support families in crisis. While we cannot change their destiny, we can impact their journey,” Nelson said.
The home is open to any family needing the support, whether it’s a child, adult or senior who finds themselves in a fight for life.
A donation of $20 per night will be suggested, but not required.
The spacious interiors offer ample common sitting rooms, large kitchen, generously-sized bedrooms and laundry room.
And the surrounding grounds feature peaceful fountains, future play areas for children, swimming pool, three-car garage and an attached casita that may serve as housing for an on-site property manager.
“We could not have designed a better home,” he said.
Describing the moment as an “important milestone,” Nelson brimmed with emotion as remembered how the vision for Jacob’s House grew from his family’s own tragic loss.
Jacob Nelson died Oct. 22, 2006 from injuries he received in a traffic accident.
Shawn and Stephanie were inspired to embrace other families whose lives are perched at the brink of disaster after experiencing the added hardship of being without the comforts of home during their son’s hospitalization.
Jacob’s House, which is planned to open along with the Temecula Valley Hospital in fall of 2013, will be able to care for 3-4 families at one time.
The hospital will determine the criteria for which families are in the greatest need.
The length of stay could average anywhere from just days to even a month.
Shawn recognized numerous organizations that have made the acquisition of Jacob’s House a reality – Mission Oaks National Bank, Rancho Family Medical Group, Southland Industries, Southwest Healthcare, Paradise Chevrolet, Temecula Mud Run and CR & R.
A community-wide public event is planned in the next few months when residents will have the opportunity tour the property and find ways to pitch in to keep the hospitality home running efficiently.
“We’re hoping the community will be drawn to it,” Nelson said, noting his satisfaction that the project had progressed from a vision to a community service-oriented reality.
Stephanie Nelson added: “God gave us the perfect home.”
A number of local businesses are already signing on to help, Shawn noted, including Temecula Valley Pool & Spa who are donating pool maintenance and Excel Landscape who have donated landscape and irrigation repairs.
Jacob’s House is now in the process of becoming a home, so donations – everything from “practical to comforting items” — are currently being accepted.
The pain never goes away, Shawn said of his family’s loss.
“But, Jacob is not part of our past; he’s part of our future.”
Jacob’s House is located at 31525 Jedediah Smith Rd., in Temecula.
To learn more, lend support or find ways to volunteer, visit www.jacobshousetemecula.org.
Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor of Southwest Riverside News Network. She can be reached at email@example.com.