Jack's Place opens doors to overnight guests

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by Jeff Wilkin | The Daily Gazette

The front door is open at Jack's Place.

So are some bedroom doors.

Five guests -- all of whom are visiting relatives at nearby hospitals -- have checked into the gray-and-cream-colored house at 17 Rosa Road in Schenectady. The place is named after Jack Falvo III, who was 21 when he died in a personal watercraft accident on the Mohawk River on July 17, 2005.

Jacky Norman, president of the Jack Falvo III Foundation, said the home opened March 6.

"We had a meeting with Sunnyview (Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital) and asked them to start qualifying guests for the following week," Norman said on Thursday. "We started out with two families, and we're working from there."

All the rooms are furnished. Guests will be able to cook their own meals in a large kitchen and watch television in a first-floor living room and in a basement den. Two washing machines and two dryers are also located in the basement.

A manager will be there 20 hours a week, spending time at the house during the morning and afternoon.

"It's been an 11-year journey, and we are just very excited we finally have everything in place and are able to open," Norman said.

Not everything is in place: A memory wall honoring Jack Falvo III's life will soon be part of the house.

The Falvo family has spent years raising money for the project; fundraisers have included a February buffet breakfast, April cavatelli dinner and August golf tournament. Two other properties were considered before the foundation decided to purchase the Rosa Road house.

Jack's Place is modeled after Ronald McDonald House, which provides homes away from home to families whose children are receiving medical treatment at local hospitals.

Falvo family members and friends broke ground on the Rosa Road property in late August 2014. Volunteer labor and donated materials helped the 1920s-era house, located just steps from Sunnyview, become Jack's Place.

The project cost $500,000.

Norman said all eight bedrooms have private bathrooms. She said people staying at Jack's Place will have the chance to interact, if they so choose.

"Most of the time they're at the hospital during the day. At night, if they cross each other's path, they have time to communicate sometimes," Norman said.

A grand opening has been planned for April.

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at wilkin@dailygazette.com or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.