Rona Barrett has been a noted gossip columnist since 1957. She began her long career for the Bell-McClure newspaper syndicate. In 1966, she broadcasted Hollywood gossip daily on KABC-TV in Los Angeles. She’s been on television often, going on to appear on the ABC network of five owned and operated stations around the country. Rona had a slot on Good Morning America and other daily programs, and she paved the way for Barbara Walters and many entertainment reporters.
In 2000, she started The Rona Barrett Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the aid and support of senior citizens in need. The foundation only takes direct donations, and is working on building The Golden Inn and Village for seniors in need of proper housing and care facilities. At this time, it’s a pilot program that is still under development.
According to their brand new website:
Nearly all of us have an elder loved one. Many know of a senior with no one left to look out for or care for them. Our elders have changing needs, many have fixed incomes and will outlive their savings and investments. Today in the California Tri-Counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo, more than 5,000 people over the age of 75 are living on Social Security alone. Even for those who have lived here for a lifetime, housing is becoming unaffordable.
Friendship House, a Santa Ynez Valley non-profit serving Alzheimer’s and dementia patients through memory care units, recently expanded the number of units available – but still has a waiting list. Santa Barbara also suffers a shortage of memory care units with long waiting lists.
Nothing like The Golden Inn & Village exists in Santa Barbara County or the state; it’s the first of its kind. The Golden Inn & Village is a mixed use development in a neighborhood setting that will provide approximately 150 affordable units for low-income seniors to reside in a comfortable, supportive environment that meets their needs as they age. Services will range from independent to assisted living and memory care to hospice, with staff residing on premises and available 24 hours a day. The programs and services provided will be coordinated in collaboration with multiple community partners and engage the broader community at large.
While focused exclusively at present on The Golden Inn & Village, since its founding, the Rona Barrett Foundation has supported 25 programs serving low-income seniors. To contact or to contribute:
Construction on this most worthy of projects begins in 2014, with a projected opening in 2016.
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