Non-Profit of the Week – 09/26/2010

Garden Court on De La Vina
updated: Sep 25, 2010, 8:30 AM

Happy 10th Anniversary, Garden Court!

The gorgeous building on the corner of De La Vina and Anapamu Streets, often mistaken by visitors – and locals! – as a welcoming Bed & Breakfast, is actually a unique independent living community for frail, low-income seniors!

This year Garden Court on De La Vina celebrates ten years of providing service-enhanced independent senior 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. They are spending their golden years as an active part of the community they helped to shape and tend. Some residents have moved to Santa Barbara in more recent years to be closer to families who live here, and to enjoy those relationships without ‘becoming a burden’. Some are people who never imagined they would be without options; and others who struggled throughout their lives at extremely low income levels and are now able to fully enjoy life for the first time. The majority of residents live on total fixed incomes of less than $950.00 a month.

Garden Court provides the freedom of independent living while offering the security, peace of mind of community living, and includes amenities such as dining and housekeeping services. A wide array of activities are also available to keep residents engaged with the community – and the community engaged with residents.

Garden Court is a public-private partnership through the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara and Parsons Group, Inc. Garden Court was established in 2000 to house low-income seniors, many who originally called the Carrillo Hotel home (now the site of the Canary Hotel, formerly the Hotel Andalucia). The old Carrillo Hotel did not meet earthquake safety standards and was ultimately demolished. Due to conscientious planning by the project partners, no seniors were displaced during the transition.

About the Garden Court Endowment

The Garden Court Endowment was established as a requirement for the owners of the new hotel to support the relocation of the seniors who had been living at the Carrillo Hotel.

The Endowment is supported by donations from individuals and companies in the community, as well as by grants from foundations and other sources.

Money raised through the Garden Court Endowment assists extremely low-income seniors in paying for essential medical and dental needs and a variety of other vital services that allow them to continue to live independently. The Endowment will also support an initiative to fill one of the most critical housing and service gaps in our community through the creation of an assisted living facility for low-income seniors in Santa Barbara.

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.

Please visit to learn more about Garden Court and ways to get involved, volunteer opportunities, or how to support the Garden Court Endowment!