Vista del Monte: Looking to the Future

Founded in 1964 as a community for retired teachers, Vista del Monte is located in Santa Barbara’s Hidden Valley, between the foothills and the sea. Throughout the decades since it first opened its doors, Vista grew into a senior living community serving people from all walks of life and expanded to include a health clinic and its renowned Fitness and Aquatic Center. The Fitness and Aquatic Center serves as a unique link with the surrounding community, a place open to all in the Santa Barbara area to enjoy exercise and recreation.

Several years ago, the community opened Summer House, a memory care neighborhood serving residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and began offering Truly Yours, a program that brings personal assisted living services directly to residents in their homes at Vista. The community also recently enhanced resident amenities, including a new resident lounge, refurbished and expanded dining room and an outdoor patio.

In 2022, the Foundation partnered with Vista to pilot video touch-screens that tell resident and community stories, provide information about the campus, and showcase the community’s compassion through charitable gifts to the Foundation.

Vista del Monte residents have a zest for life that matches the vitality of the entire Santa Barbara area. Some residents explore their creative sides, in groups like the Vista Voices Choral Group and the Vista del Monte Players theatre company. Others stretch their minds with lifelong learning classes taught by outside experts as well as by residents.

Vista del Monte has always been a generous community. Through gifts from residents, the community has been able to make numerous enhancements to its campus, including the opening of Summer House. Joanne Freeman, the chair of the VDM Philanthropy Committee, made a gift through her Donor Advised Fund (DAF) to support that project, and also regularly donates to the Employee Scholarship Fund. “When I was a child, my family had a practice of giving back to others,” Joanne said. “I’ve kept this practice throughout my adult life and love giving to programs that serve people in my local community.”

Joanne’s friend and neighbor Jeanne Giacobine chairs the Scholarship Committee, a role she took on because “it’s a cause that means a lot to me.” But Jeanne’s charitable giving did not stop there. She has also donated to the Foundation’s Resident Assistance Fund for her community, to assist those neighbors who, by no fault of their own, have outlived their resources. “I look at residents who have been here for a long time and think how scary it must be if they ran out of money,” Jeanne said. “The Foundation elevates Front Porch and this community from just being a business to something bigger and greater. I’m happy to be part of that greater good.”