A Golden day for Rona Barrett

 

lompoc record

A Golden day for Rona Barrett

Ribbon cutting at Golden Inn & Village opens doors to seniors, families

2016-11-09_11-13-09

Len Wood, Staff

Rona Barrett speaks as Santa Barbara County Supervisor Doreen Farr, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and Congresswoman Lois Capps, from left, listen during the grand opening of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village in Solvang.

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Len Wood, Staff

Dignitaries cut a golden ribbon Oct. 28 during the grand opening of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village in Solvang.

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Len Wood, Staff

New residents Judith Collier, left, and Wilma Gyesko tour rooms similar to theirs Oct. 28 during the grand opening of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village in Solvang.

2016-11-09_11-17-10

Len Wood, Staff

Guests tour one of the buildings at the Golden Inn & Village in Solvang during the grand opening Oct. 28.

2016-11-09_11-16-11

Len Wood, Staff

The Golden Inn & Village in Solvang, which offers affordable housing to low-income seniors and families, officially opened its doors with a ceremony Oct. 28.

2016-11-09_11-18-00

Len Wood, Staff

Invited guests fill a tent erected in case of rain Oct. 28 for the grand opening of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village.

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Len Wood, Staff

Rona Barrett, center, listens to speakers during the grand opening of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village on Oct. 28 in Solvang.

2016-11-09_11-19-08

Len Wood, Staff

Rona Barrett receives a ceremonial golden key Oct. 28 during the grand opening of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village in Solvang.

2016-11-09_11-19-37

Len Wood, Staff

Congresswoman Lois Capps speaks Oct. 28 in Solvang during the grand opening of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village, an affordable housing complex for low-income seniors and families.

 

The grand opening of Golden Inn & Village (GIV) represented the “vision and the dream of Rona Barrett,” Lois Capps said.

The U.S. Representative for California’s 24th Congressional District was one of the many federal, state, county and local officials as well as Valley supporters who came to Solvang on Oct. 28 to mark the grand opening of Golden Inn & Village.

Designed to bring affordable housing to the Santa Ynez Valley, the compound is a 60-unit development for seniors and a 27-unit development for families, some of whom will be employees at GIV. Over 900 seniors have applied for those 60 studio and one-bedroom apartments.

Capps remarked that she’d attended the groundbreaking in March 2015.

“We want this to be everything Rona wanted it to be. I wish all my colleagues in Congress could see it.”

Inspired by her years of caring for her late father, Harry, Barrett launched the Rona Barrett Foundation 16 years ago, determined to provide affordable local housing for seniors.

Thanks to partnerships with the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara County (HACSB) and Surf Development Co., and funding acquired through the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Union Bank, the Rona Barrett Foundation and others, the first residents are moving in this week.

“Well-behaved women rarely make history,” joked California state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson about Barrett’s determination. She also echoed Capps, calling GIV a “project we should be replicating.”

Several of the speakers commented on the complete lack of opposition to the development, something essentially unheard of in Santa Barbara County.

“We had no opposition from Day One,” confirmed John Polansky, director of Housing Development with the HACSB.

Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr concurred, while recalling that she expected opposition when Barrett first presented the project to her.

When it was time for Barrett to speak, the former entertainment reporter said she’d “like to pretend this is my Oscar speech,” and joked that no one should try to “play her off” for speaking too long. She had so many people to thank, most notably the three women on stage with her, Capps, Jackson and Farr.

She also singled out her foundation board of directors, the HACSB staff, county Sheriff Bill Brown, interior designer Shannon Scott, major donors and even the Valley’s usual anti-development forces for not being anti-GIV.

“This is not about me,” Barrett said. “It’s about all the people we are bringing into this facility. This has been one of the most glorious days of my life.”

Before cutting the golden ribbon — with a pair of oversized gold scissors — Barrett reminded the assembled that more donations are still needed to complete Golden Inn & Village. The next phase of development is for affordable assisted living and memory care units.

 

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