A home in Temecula is getting readied to open for families upended by sudden crisis.
Jacob’s House located at 31525 Jedediah Smith in Santiago Estates is scheduled to begin welcoming visitors this fall. After renovations are completed, the existing 3,800-square-foot single-story home situated on 2.3 acres—less than a mile from the soon-to-open Temecula Valley Hospital—will serve as a haven by providing temporary hospitality for families whose loved ones are undergoing treatment for serious illness or injury.
“It’s a safe, nurturing place for families who've been hit by tragedy,” said Shawn Nelson, who served as permanent Temecula City Manager from July 1999 through December 2011 and now works full time with the Jacob’s House Foundation that he created and chairs with his wife, Stephanie.
The project is personal. Jacob's House is named after the Nelson's son, who in October 2006 died from injuries sustained during a solo-vehicle crash on the 15 Freeway, just south of Temecula.
He was behind the wheel and was just 24 years old.
“Jacob was a beautiful human being and I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Nelson said.
The former city manager said he and his wife had two choices after losing their son: symbolize his life with meaning, or crawl in a hole.
“Tragedy drove us to do something positive,” he said.
So a little more than six years later, Jacob's House is underway and plans are moving forward. After generating enough donations for a down payment, the residence was purchased by the Jacob's House Foundation for $790,000, Nelson said. Mission Oaks National Bank in Temecula put the loan together on the property and Murrieta's Rancho Family Medical Group pledged to offset the monthly mortgage payments, Nelson said.
Additionally, minor modifications are planned to expand the facility to house up to four families at a time; local companies have agreed to help offset maintenance costs; dozens of local residents and businesses have donated to the cause, and fundraising efforts continue, according to Nelson.
“It’s truly been a community effort. We are trying to open in conjunction with the hospital opening this fall,” Nelson continued, noting that a partnership between Jacob’s House and the hospital already exists. “We are going to help hundreds and hundreds of families in the future.”
For more information, click here. Watch the attached video to hear Nelson's story.