Jessica’s House: Central Valley’s only free-standing children’s grief home opens

The community will celebrate the opening of a permanent home for Jessica’s House. The Turlock-based nonprofit organization provides grief support in a safe place for children, teens, young adults and their families grieving a death of a parent, sibling, and/or grandparent.

In 2012, Jessica’s House launched the Central Valley’s first-ever, free-standing grief support program in a small, leased house in downtown Turlock. However, as demand for grief support increased, grieving children were placed on a waiting list as the small house offered no space to grow. There is no charge for grief support services provided by Jessica’s House.

In 2019, the community embarked on their $6.5 million dollar For Healing Hearts capital campaign to build a permanent home for Jessica’s House. The first week in September, Jessica’s House started support grieving children in their permanent home.

The 15,600 sq. ft. home features 13 new therapeutic spaces that were not offered in the small, leased house. New therapeutic spaces include:

• Volcano Room where children safely express emotions in a physical way

• Hospital Playroom where children use imaginative play to safely express their grief and trauma if a death involved a hospital

• Dramatic Playroom where children tell their story and express feelings through dramatic play with costumes, props and a stage

• Time Machine where children can “travel” into the past to recreate a memory or travel to the future to find hope of feeling better or set goals for their future.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at Jessica’s House, 1225 West Christofferson Parkway, in Turlock, on October 14 at 4:00 p.m.

Open house and self-guided tours are available from 2:00-7:00 p.m., please note, masks are required for all persons inside the house.

Ceremony presenters include; Erin Nelson, founder and executive director of Jessica’s House, Linda Stuhmer, chief executive officer of EMC Health, Inc., Stanislaus Supervisor Vito Chiesa, supervisor, District 1, Modesto Opera Summer Youth Institute (choir).

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