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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 6:00 am | Fair 41º


Rona Barrett’s Season of Giving Event Debuts The Golden Inn & Village

Entertainment columnist's experience as a caregiver for her dad sparks plan for affordable senior housing in Santa Ynez Valley

The golden sandstone of Sunstone Vineyards & Winery’s Cuvee Cave in the Santa Ynez Valley was the perfect backdrop for the introduction to The Golden Inn & Village project at the inaugural Rona’s Season for Giving benefit.

The sunny afternoon event was presented by the Rona Barrett Foundation, which is dedicated to helping seniors in need. The Golden Inn will provide affordable housing for seniors in a community-centered model, which could include 70 units of affordable senior housing, 30 units for assisted living, and 30 units in a special Memory Care Center for those with Alzheimer’s and other maladies. Included would be an Adult Day Care Center for those seniors who wish to live at home but it will give their caregiver some respite time. There are also plans for housing for the Village’s workers.

In a short presentation, Rona Barrett herself noted that there are now 60 million seniors living in the United States. That number will grow to 90 million in less than 20 years, the longtime entertainment columnist said. There is already a lack of senior housing, and the shortage will be even more critical in the near future.

“It is critical that the people who helped build this country not be forgotten,” she said.

Barrett was moved to create the foundation and The Golden Village dream for the Santa Ynez Valley after caring for her elderly father for 10 years.

“Being a caregiver is the biggest job and the biggest job for burnout,” she noted.

Thus the inclusion of the concept of the Adult Day Center, much like the successful Friendship Center of Santa Barbara and the newly opened Friendship Center in Goleta. Barrett stated that $4 million in funding is required to proceed with the land purchase and other needs; the entire project is anticipated to cost more than $30 million, which will include tax-credit financing to be secured by the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County.

Barrett’s current collaborators are the Housing Authority and the nonprofit Surf Development Co. Santa Barbara-based architect Detty Peikert has created site plans and architectural renderings for the projected five-acre project. Peikert is an expert in designing affordable housing for other nonprofit organizations such as the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing and others. He cited Garden Court on De la Vina, 1116 De la Vina St., as an example of a multiple-use senior housing complex that embraces the “village” concept.

“We anticipate that this village concept will be replicated as a model for other communities across the United States,” added Peikert.

Barrett’s dynamism has already attracted a dedicated board of directors and supporters. Sunstone Winery owner Fred Rice and his family donated the venue and generously poured six tastings of Sunstone selections, including Estate Merlot, 2006 Scorprire and 2005 Lumiere du Fleur. The Season for Giving also featured a silent auction and a raffle drawing for a large wine selection. Organic hors d’ oeuvres were offered by Rustik Chef. Supporters included Dr. Angel Iscovich and his wife, Lisa; Betty and Stan Hatch; Heidi Holly; Dr. Gary Waer; Daniel McNeet; Linda Rice; Bob Jorgenson; Susan and Steen Weber; and Sandi Owens.

For more information on The Golden Inn & Village, call 805.688.8887 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for more information about the Rona Barrett Foundation.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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