Betty and her husband Phil moved to Santa Barbara from Minnesota in 1950. They worked as an office manager and an information technology professional. She and her husband raised a family here, enjoyed volunteering, and attended high school football games long after their son and daughter had graduated. The kids moved to Colorado and Oregon to raise their own families. While these states have more affordable areas than Santa Barbara, her children still struggle. Her son recently lost his job. And with her savings long gone and little more than Social Security checks to live on, Betty can no longer afford the apartment she’s lived in since Phil passed away 10 years ago. Her arthritis is severe and getting worse; she cannot work.

Betty is weighing her options. Though her kids have offered to help, they have their own struggles. She believes it would be too much for them to take her in. Besides, her life is here in Santa Barbara County. But how will she afford it? She can’t get around like she used to. Will she need more help soon?

Betty’s friend Jean has no children. She lives with several friends, cramped in a two-bedroom apartment. Another friend, Jim, has been on the waiting list for affordable housing for more than three years. His investments have plummeted; he’s not set like he planned. Recently, he moved in with his daughter and her three kids but last week fell and broke his hip. Now he needs more help. The three friends debated a solution over coffee last week, and dreamed of something like The Golden Inn & Village, as Jim said, “to live out our so-called ‘golden years’ in peace.”