Jacob “Jake” would be described as kind, smart, compassionate, funny and incredibly loyal. He
was known for his great sense of family and deep love for his wife and children. Jacob had an
infinite knowledge of superhero comics, sci-fi movies, shows and of course, Star Trek. He could
educate just about anyone on the topic. He loved art and had many unique tattoos. He
wouldn’t miss a moment of opportunity to provide for his family. He showed those he loved
unconditional compassion, love and support. His family was everything to him.
While attending Fairfield Christian Academy, Jacob worked at Elder Beerman. That is where I
met him. We fell in love quickly and were married in August of 2007. He got a job at
Nationwide soon after our wedding to better provide for our blended family of 4. My two
young boys were so excited to have such a cool step-dad! We planned to grow to a family of 5
as soon as possible. Jacob was a wonderful and very involved parent. He was best at telling
bedtime stories about monster trucks and Transformers along with playing superheroes with
the boys. He always considered them his very own children and graciously accepted the role of
being a parent.
We welcomed our daughter into the world in 2008 and bought a house a year later. Seeing
Jacob be a father was a beautiful example of how a father should love his children. If you knew
him, or even just saw him in public being a father, you knew how much love he had for all three
of them. To this day, they each carry strong characteristics, mannerisms and morals gifted to
them by him. He was an outstanding father from the moment he met each of them and you
could read that all over his face. We would take trips to the family farm often.
We did all of the typical happy family things that happy families do together. He tucked the
kids into bed with me every night and got up and went to work the next day. He was a
successful young father providing for his family. We were so grateful for him and his
dedication to creating a wonderful life for our family.
It was around the summer of 2010 when I found Jake’s drinking to be more excessive than it
had been in the past. I didn’t know why. I hated wondering how drunk he was going to be
when he came home. I worried every moment. It’s a fear that I’m certain anyone who’s ever
loved someone battling addiction has felt. He started to get into car accidents. It was then that
we talked about separating. I was scared. He was never angry. Just lots of drinking. We spent
that summer trying to figure out how to “fix it.” The drinking just got worse and worse. There
were DUIs, accidents and many sleepless nights. We separated and in my mind this was the
only way to help him; I had to “wake him up” so to speak. Nothing was working to do that.
He then disappeared. He abruptly stopped seeing the kids. First, the boys. Then, our daughter.
I was more scared than I ever thought I could be. This disease was eating him. I could feel it. I
begged and begged him to get help. I knew he had to do it for himself but I couldn’t stop trying
to “save him.” After all we had been through, I still loved him. I wanted him to be alive and
well and I was willing to do every single thing in my power to bring him back to reality. I
wanted him home. There had been lots of changes in both of our lives because as time went on,
so did life. I held on to hope. I taught my children to keep hoping and believing in him and
reminded them daily that people DO recover from the disease of addiction.
In the mean time, we called for wellness checks as often as we could. I went to what was once
our family home. I begged him to get help on the occasions when he would answer the door.
When there was no answer, I called the local police department and had them check in on him.
This was by far the most grueling time of the process. Waiting to be able to hear that he was
alive took what seemed like eternity. Once I heard that confirmation that he was alive, I could
breathe again. He would reach out to me often after about a year of silence. He would seem ok.
Then he would seem not ok. It was back and forth all the time. He asked about the kids a lot.
Asked me how I was doing. I offered to go to a meeting with him and he seemed surprised. His
exact words were, “You would do that for me?” I couldn’t believe he didn’t already know that.
I would. I would do anything to help him know he wasn’t alone. Jacob had suffered many
injuries while he was battling addiction. He started having seizures which was something he
had never experienced before. He communicated these things to me and while I was worried, I
was hesitant to believe all of it because he would never let me come see him. He was vague
about where he was living. In hindsight I know he was keeping us from having to see how bad
things had really gotten. His addiction had caused many health issues for Jacob.
On July 4th I talked to him for the last time. Not in person. He told me he wasn’t ready for that
yet. I was. I was ready for him to come back to reality. I was mentally preparing myself for
him to come back into our lives in whatever form he was in. I just had hope that he was finally
going to recover. For the first time, I was listening to myself when I told my children to have
hope. I sent him photos of the kids. Happy photos. Anything to help him have the hope we
were clinging to on our end. Anything to let him know that we were here and we were pulling
On July 5th he told his roommate he would be quitting. He was finally done. No more alcohol.
But if you know an alcoholic you should know how dangerous it is to just stop without the help
of medical staff. Jacob passed away on July 8th 2017. I got the call and immediately started
shaking. It was uncontrollable. I knew. I just knew. I got in my car, rushed to the area where
he had told me he was living and drove up the street he told me lived on. I didn’t know his
address so my only option was to drive until I saw an ambulance. I saw police cars. No
ambulance. No one rushing around. Just an officer standing outside of a house. I pulled over
and told them who I was and they said what I’d dreaded hearing for years now; “Jacob has
passed.” I immediately began hyperventilating. From that moment, my life was forever
changed. He was 30. 30 years old. The magnitude of this loss not only for myself but for my
children has been earth shattering. We, along with our family and those who loved Jake know
that he would want this story shared. He would want us to do whatever we can in our power
to provide compassionate support to those families who are touched by the disease of
addiction. This is just one story of the pain and brutality of losing a loved one to substance
abuse. Just one. The statistics prove that we need to do something to help one another and
bring awareness to this disease. Talk to someone. Reach out. Recovery is possible and help is
Love and Light,
Jacob's House Recovery Center came into being after the founders, Thomas and Shawn Smith, lost their young son, Jacob Smith to addiction. The decision was made, after much consideration and prayers, to try to prevent another family from going through the devastating loss of a family member. We want Jacob's life and death to matter. We were called to help those who are suffering with this deadly disease, so Jacob's House was born. We are here to help men and women find and keep sustained sobriety to have a life that is filled with love, compassion and true happiness. We want everyone to know they are loved by God and that he wants you to know and love him in return. He wants his children to be happy and productive. Not even one of God's children chooses to become an addict, living in pain and fear. That is why we are here, to help the broken among us to find a better way to live their lives without the terrible burden of addiction. We know the need is great and we are here to help.
Jacob’s House Recovery Center was founded in 2017 by Tom Smith after losing his son to complications of alcoholism July 8th 2017. Tom’s sobriety date is April 10th 2010, giving him just over 8 years clean and sober after 41 years of alcohol and drug use. Being in recovery himself, Tom knows the daily struggles of alcoholism and addiction. Jacob’s House Recovery Center came into existence after its founder Tom saw the need in the community for more treatment centers and wanted to give back to the community. He purchased the Livingston office location and is currently purchasing and rehabilitating homes around the Columbus area to provide sober living space for those looking for a safe place to live while continuing their sobriety. The current opioid epidemic has overwhelmed the current treatment agencies and has made seeking treatment difficult. One of our goals at JHRC is to help ease the difficulty of those seeking treatment or help with maintaining their sobriety.
My name is Shawn Smith and I had the great pleasure of calling Jacob T. Smith my step son, although I didn't give birth to him, I always considered him my own. I met Jacob when he was only two years old and I immediately fell in love. His joy and wonder of the world around him was a thing of beauty. He was so funny, care free and loving. It was devastating to lose such a wonderful soul as Jacob. He touched my life in so many ways that it is impossible to count. I want his life and story to be shared with others who might find inspiration in his life and his tragic death. I would have given my life to save Jacob from the demons that led to his untimely death. Unable to do that, I pray that some one might find the help they need to fight their own addiction through Jacob's House Recovery. I will always be the mother who lost their child to the disease of addiction but I pray that we can stop this monster so no other family has to lose a son or daughter. I know that together we can and will make a difference. I will forever be changed by the beauty of Jacob's life and the profound loss of my son. I thank you personally for your support. We can be the change we seek.
My passion for Jacob’s House Recovery Center stems from the loss of my husband, Jacob, a devoted father, friend and husband due to the disease of addiction. Jacob was very devoted to his family and always put them first. He was kind and gentle. The magnitude of his passing has inspired our family to come together and help create compassion, resources and support for those affected by the disease of addiction. My goal is to help empower people with addiction and their families by helping them gather the tools they need to live healthy and sober lives, free from the pain of addiction. Knowing first hand how substance abuse can affect even the strongest of families, I feel inspired to help people with addiction and their loved ones to live with intention and to know that they are not alone. I believe recovery works, that all humans make mistakes and there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel. There IS hope.
Throughout my life I've always had a natural internal desire to help
and to give when able to contribute to society. I've been blessed to
be a part of the JHRC family and assist in attempting to put a small
dent in our war on drug and alcohol abuse. My function as the
Office Manager is to oversee projects, building and developing
relationships with other entities to come together for the same goal
in helping the best way we can by pulling our resources together. My
over 20 yrs. of executive retail management from coast to coast and
having lost recent family members to both drug and alcohol abuse has
brought me back to settle here in Ohio and I’m grateful to be more
involved with family and friends.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if there are any
questions you may have or if there are any resources we can direct
you to it would be my pleasure to assist.
I'm Matt and I'm the webmaster at JHRC. As of May, 2018 I am 18 months sober. My habit started around my early 20s and began as a sort of "self-medication" to deal with anxiety and insomnia. This habit ballooned and only got worse until the last few years I was drinking almost a case of beer and part of a bottle of liquor each night. In May of 2016 I was hospitalized for acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a pain like no other and after 3 days I was released and told I needed to stop my drinking. I lasted almost a month before I started drinking again. This was when I realized I couldn't be a social drinker and there was no such thing as just "having a couple." Within a few weeks I was back to where I was before the hospital stay and in November of that same year was hospitalized a second time for the same thing. This second time though was considerably more dangerous as I was not only dealing with pancreatitis, but had developed pneumonia, the oxygen level in blood went dangerously low and my blood pressure skyrocketed. After a week in the hospital I was released, fortunate that despite all of this I had done no permanent damage. It was then I realized I had hit my rock bottom and needed help. I reached out to Tom Smith when I started my journey to sobriety and he helped me get into some AA meetings and provided me with some useful resources to kick the habit. I haven't looked back since and it only gets better each day.
Born and raised in rural southern U.S., tobacco and whiskey region. After twelve year old childhood initiation into the buzzed world of alcohol consumption Bob graduated to marijuana inhaling in one year. Part time marijuana and alcohol tolerance very gradually evolved into a preferred lifestyle over 20 years. The last three years of that period became the blur of undeniable addiction and the proverbial pedal to the metal race to the bottom. By Gods amazing grace sobriety began June 7, 1973. As a dual diagnosed person in long term recovery, the lived experience of Bob Cross, includes US Army Veteran, Psychiatric Nursing, Sales and Management, Peer Support Specialist, Training Consultant, Licensed Home Improvement Contractor, Board Member of Ohio Mental Health And Addiction Services Advisory Council, Father of six and Grandfather of three of planet earth's finest human beings.
"My passion is active participation in any aspect of any human beings positive recovery. I am scientific evidence that recovery is possible and if you lack hope you can use some of ours til yours arrive"
Born near Jamestown, NY, which is where I spent 25 years of my life. Graduated Pine Valley High School and then attended Fredonia State College majoring in Business Administration. Moved to Columbus on the heels of a lady, which of course didn't work like planned. Decided to stay and give the city life a try, jobs were scarce in my hometown. Landed a job with First Commonwealth Bank as a Teller, and here we are 13 years later as a manager of the location located in Whitehall, OH. Proud husband of nearly a year, and loving father (of our Yorki-Poo) of 10 years. I currently serve as the Treasurer for the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce, and also teach financial fitness classes for Homeport Ohio.
I became a part of the JHRC Board when Tom approached me with the opportunity as I Insure Jacobs House Recovery Center Sober Living Homes. I believe the fight against substance abuse is extremely important and has been a modern-day plague in the last several years. By helping JHRC, I hope I can lend my risk management skills and my own personal experiences to help others in need and support them as best as I can.
As the Residential Manager, Wayne promotes and establishes a family atmosphere, assists residents with gaining a firm foot in living sober and in Recovery. He ensures all housing policies are adhered too. With his life experience and sobriety since April 22nd, 2018, he is able to give his first-hand perspective. He has met all educational, testing, and life requirements as a Peer Recovery Supporter and getting licensed this year. Wayne’s a graduate of OSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting /Finance and utilizes that knowledge and accurate/compliant skills at our Corporate location. He enjoys yard work(YUCK) and exercises frequently.
Jeff has an undergraduate degree from Ohio University in Secondary Education as well as his Masters from Barry University in Educational Administration and is Juris Doctorate from Capital Law School. Jeff is an Ohio Licensed Attorney, Teacher and School Administrator. He is owner at Future Ed Solutions, an educational services provider company, has 25 years experience in Education as a teacher, principal and superintendent and 10 years experience as an attorney.