Pilgrim Terrace Cooperative Homes will be holding a big band, rock, and swing Valentine’s Day dance event for senior residents this afternoon from 2-3 p.m.

The event, located at 649 Pilgrim Terrace Drive Activities Room in Santa Barbara, will feature both the 82 residents of the homes and members of the UCSB ROTC dancing to swing, soul, big band, and rock and roll music, played by Sloane Reali and the Smooth Tones. The ROTC will be on hand to dance with female residents and to hand out goody bags to attendees.

Pilgrim Terrace Activities Consultant Marsha Rosenblum said in an email, “The idea was to create a feeling of a USO dance. Two generations coming together to recreate a time that is held dear to many of the women residents.” The USO (United Service Organizations) held dances for military members that were especially prevalent during World War II.

Pilgrim Terrace is a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit organization that provides housing for low-income elderly people over the age of 62. The 501(c)(3) status gives tax exemption to a charitable organization that has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service after a lengthy, 29-page application.

Despite HUD subsidization, most of Pilgrim Terrace’s money goes toward paying the mortgage on the homes and for day-to-day activities, excluding special events like the dance. HUD subsidization (Department of Housing and Urban Development) assists low-income families through the use of vouchers and significantly lowered rent. The program was created officially in 1974, though federal housing assistant programs began during the 1930s.

While the event is not open to the general public, Pilgrim Terrace is working to bring in seniors from other community centers for activities and events like the dance, with the assistance of the Community Action Commission (CAC), Santa Barbara. According to the CAC Web site, “The Community Action Commission is dedicated to providing high-quality, culturally appropriate services and opportunities for low-income people of all ages as they maintain or achieve self-sufficiency while retaining their dignity and self-esteem.”


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