Our Story

The Story of Jacob's House

October 11,  1982

Jacob Andrew Nelson was born to Shawn and Stephanie Nelson. Jacob has two sisters, Jaclyn and Jennifer. 

 February 17, 1997 (7:25 AM)

Jennifer Nelson (one of Jacob's sisters) is involved in a severe car accident.  Her entire family rushes to be near her in the wake of the accident. The Nelson family stays at a Ronald McDonald House and is inspired by the generosity of the organization. Miraculously, Jennifer survives the accident with the support of her family, friends and the community.  The Nelson family makes a commitment to donate their time and efforts to Ronald McDonald House.


In May 2002, Jacob spoke to 200 young people and told them that there will be fences that we all will run into in this life; however, if we don’t give up we can have the ability to get through any trial or tragedy that we will face. 

October 22, 2006

Jacob Nelson passed to heaven on October 22, 2006 as a result of a traffic accident. In the 24 years that Jacob was here on earth, his love for people and his family defined who he was as a person. 

Building A Dream

October 29, 2006

Seven days following this traffic accident, Shawn Nelson, Jacob’s father and Temecula’s City Manager, was scheduled to speak at a fund raising event to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Loma Linda. Although he was reluctant to attend to this pre-scheduled event, he felt God leading him to go. He went and shared with 1,500 people the wonderful story of his daughter, Jennifer, who had been in a nearly fatal traffic accident 10 years earlier, and how his family was able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Loma Linda, which meant so much to the Nelson family.

Shawn then spoke of the tragedy that had just occurred to their only son Jacob seven days earlier. The entire crowd in unison moaned. After going through both situations, first with Jennifer, where they had a Ronald McDonald House, and then with Jacob, where there was no such facility, Shawn finished by stating we need to build a Ronald McDonald House in Temecula!

​Three weeks later, a group of developers and a non-profit foundation began to work to bring a Ronald McDonald House to Temecula as a result of his speech. They soon learned, however, that a Ronald McDonald House could not be built in Temecula because the new hospital would not be a children’s hospital.

December 2006

Days later, in December 2006, plans were revised to build a house that would meet the needs of all age groups and serve the needs of the new hospitals, as well as the two existing hospitals in the Temecula/Murrieta Valley region. It was then proposed to him that the new house be named Jacob’s House, after his beloved son who had such a positive influence on so many young people in our valley.

While it may never be understood why Jacob ran into his final fence at such a young age, Jacob’s message of hope and comfort will reach out to so many families for years to come as they are cared for in Jacob’s House.

A Dream Come True

December 27, 2012

Jacob’s House became the proud owner of a 3,800 square foot residential home on 2.3 acres of land located in the Santiago Estates, only 0.6 miles from our new Temecula Valley Hospital. With the opening of the Temecula Valley Hospital on the horizon, Jacob’s House acquired an estate home to start helping families in crisis as soon as the Temecula Valley Hospital opened.  While Jacob’s House is ultimately planning to build a permanent 20 bedroom facility, this beautiful home is the first step in helping many families in the Temecula Valley for many years to come.  This is  likely the first hospitality house to open in parallel with an entirely new hospital, in the entire nation. 

June 15, 2013

On Saturday, June 15, 2013, from 3:00pm to 6:00pm Jacob’s House  held a community-wide Open House. Approximately 300+ community members attended this event. The event netted over $60,000, and helped furnish Jacob’s House. 

October 14, 2013

Temecula Valley Hospital opens.  Jacob’s House opens and is ready for families. Renovations allow Jacob’s House to provide up to four families with a tranquil place to stay in their moments of crisis. 

Helping Families in Crisis

December 20, 2013

Just under a year after the house was purchased, and a few weeks after the hospital started operations, Jacob’s House takes in its first family. 

Pictured: The Bundsen Family, one of the earliest families we served. 


Jacob's House helps our 1,000th person. 

Pictured: One of our families who was able to take their loved one home.


Jacob's House continues to serve families. Our moto is providing our families Hospitality With a Heart.  Learn about Our Mission & Impact on the community.