Former leisure reporter Rona Barrett now dedicates her life to serving to seniors

SANTA YNEZ (KABC) – In the television reporter world, Rona Barrett started it all on ABC7 many years ago.

She’s working hard these days to make life easier for our seniors.

She created something in Santa Ynez that she believes can be recreated across the country.

The Golden Inn & Village is now celebrating five successful years.

It wasn’t easy to achieve.

“I’ve seen everyone under the sun,” said Barrett. “Everyone said, ‘No, you can’t. No, you can’t.’ I said, ‘Yes we can.’ “

It took her seven years to convince the Santa Barbara Housing Authority to work with her. The result: the Golden Inn & Village, affordable housing and support services for low-income seniors. It is now considered a model for caring for our aging population.

“It has to be combined with your community, your government, locally and nationally, and it has to be the people who are really big money in this country and interested in being philanthropic,” Barrett said.

The past year has been tough due to the pandemic, and the nonprofit Rona Barrett Foundation reached out to Mailer for help. And it worked. “All of a sudden people would call and say, ‘How can I help? How can I help?’ And I would say, send the money because I have to start a nutrition program here. I have to make sure my people don’t go hungry, “she said.

They now offer three hot meals a week for residents.

In Rona’s previous entertainment reporter career, she interviewed Hollywood’s biggest stars and made many friends in the process.

Among them: Cher stepping straight on the plate, doing a PSA for the foundation, and asking the audience to “please contribute in any way they can”.

Barrett said, “I don’t care if you send me two dollars or two pennies as long as you send me something, and I can make life better for someone I know is not at their best at this point in life Constitution was. “

The seniors who live at the Golden Inn & Village pay 30% of their social security. About 60 seniors are currently residents, but Barrett’s vision is to add another building to help at least 60 more.

Barrett said, “You bought me a shovel of gold by the way, and I can’t wait to put that shovel back in the ground. That’s all I have to say.”

One of the Rona Barrett Foundation’s missions is to ensure seniors know that there is a future for them and that more good times are to come.

Barrett had a lot more to say. You can see more on our free ABC-7 Los Angeles app. You can find it on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android TV.

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