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For Immediate Release        Media Contact:  Candice Tang/Juliana Minsky (805) 687-3322

Garden Court Receives Grant for New Resident Advocacy Program for Frail, Low-Income Seniors

Part-time position will support Garden Court residents facing major health situations

Santa Barbara, CA, May 17, 2011 – Garden Court, an independent living community for frail, low-income seniors, has received a grant of $3600 from the Garden Court Endowment to expand their Resident Assistant position to include advocacy and assistance for residents facing hospitalization, or discharge from Rehabilitation or Skilled Nursing Centers.

Until affordable assisted living care is available in the Santa Barbara community, Garden Court residents facing major medical situations are relegated to placement in Skilled Nursing facilities which cannot provide the appropriate level of care for these seniors to regain independence or receive the rehabilitation needed to return to Garden Court.

Garden Court is expanding the Resident Assistant position to help bridge this gap.  The Resident Assistant will now assist these at-risk residents in identifying and obtaining the services they need to stay at Garden Court and live independently for as long as possible, gain the best available placement upon discharge from a Rehabilitation or Skilled Nursing Center, or advocate for the residents to return to Garden Court rather than to a higher level of care.

“Right now in the Santa Barbara community, with no assisted living centers to provide services to low-income seniors, our at-risk residents face a grim future,” said Tamara Erickson, Executive Director of Garden Court.  “We are grateful to the Garden Court Endowment for funding this position so that our residents will be able to live successfully as long as possible at Garden Court.  And we will continue to look for new ways to help our residents live the fullest lives possible.”

The Garden Court Endowment has also recently provided an additional grant for $3,000 to assist with dental care for Garden Court residents. Through a professional relationship with Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, Garden Court is able to receive competitive pricing and high quality dental care for residents.

Garden Court on De La Vina

Garden Court provides enhanced independent living for frail, low-income Santa Barbara seniors to live independently for as long as possible.  Many of Garden Court’s 97 seniors, 62 years of age or older, are long-time Santa Barbara area residents  who worked all their lives serving the Santa Barbara community as laborers, nurses, business owners and teachers.  These residents are spending their golden years as an active part of the community they helped to shape and tend. Garden Court is a public-private partnership through the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara and Parsons Group.  For more information, visit www.gardencourt.org.

About the Garden Court Endowment

The Garden Court Endowment has helped hundreds of low-income, frail seniors with support for crisis intervention for mental health, assistive devices for visually impaired residents, on-site health and wellness programs and other critical needs that Garden Court residents could not otherwise afford. The Endowment is now leading an initiative to fill one of the most critical housing and service gaps in our community through the creation of the first assisted living facility for low-income seniors in Santa Barbara.  The Endowment is supported by donations from individuals and companies in the community, as well as by grants from foundations and other sources.

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