Carolers bring joy to Laguna Beach senior housing community

A group of carolers including elementary school students, Mayor Pro Tem Bob Whalen, and Sally’s executive director Rachael Berger visited residents of the Vista Aliso senior housing complex on Dec. 15. Photo courtesy of Barbara McMurray

About 20 students from Top of the World and El Morro joined teachers, parents, Sallys Fund staffers, Mayor Pro Tem Bob Whalen, and Housing and Human Services Committee members came a-caroling at the Vista Aliso Apartments on Dec. 15. Residents of the 71-unit, low-income senior housing complex came outside to sing along and exchange hugs.

The event was organized by Sallys Fund executive director Rachael Berger and TOW parent Michelle Cornell.

Our committee advocates for the people who live in Laguna, to make sure their needs are being met, and to give a larger segment of people a shot at being able to live here,” committee chairperson Alex Rounaghi said in a press release. You can judge a community by how it treats its elders. In Laguna Beach we have a special obligation to address the housing needs of our seniors.”

Vista Aliso exemplifies Laguna Beach’s past commitment to providing senior housing. Despite the city’s aging population, no new senior or assisted living housing projects have been constructed for nearly two decades. In 2019, we lost 15 units of Section 8 senior housing at Harbor Cove.

Whalen was recently reappointed as liaison to the Housing and Human Services Committee.

Our mutual goal is to realize affordable housing here in our lifetime,” Whalen told committee members. “I appreciate so much all the work you all are doing, all the thoughtful analysis. Everybody brings a dimension.”

Sallys Fund is a nonprofit that offers transportation, food delivery, and more. It operates through donations and grants with a small staff and a team of volunteers dedicated to helping frail seniors who live independently in their homes.

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