Jean Moore Warrick
Jean Moore Warrick was a RHF board member for over 25 years. She passed away on December 14, 2004. During her career, she was Director of Emergency Planning for Atlantic Richfield Company. Her initial involvement with the RHF family was as a member of the Advisory Board for The Angelus Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, while employed with ARCO. She joined the RHF Board in 1983 and chaired the Board from 1994 to 1999. She also chairs the Board of Retirement Enterprises, Inc. Ms. Moore Warrick lived with her husband in Carlsbad, CA, until her death in 2004. She remembered RHF in her estate planning with a large Charitable Remainder Trust that not only helps to secure the future of her family but also the mission of RHF. This is the article she wrote for RHF's 1998 Annual Report while Chairperson.
Exploring Uncharted Waters
By Jean Moore Warrick
When I was told that the theme of the annual report this year was the ocean and things related thereto, I was "at sea," excuse the pun, as to how I would write my chairperson's message to fit with the rest of the report.
The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that the history and current operations of Retirement Housing Foundation was and are analogous to an ocean voyage.
Thirty-eight years ago, three courageous individuals with little capital started on a voyage through uncharted waters, to discover if they could make a difference in the lives of some elderly people in Northern California who were living on limited incomes.
Two United Church of Christ clergymen and one layman accepted the challenge of their congregations to provide affordable, safe, clean and inviting housing and services for some of their older church members.
The ship that started the voyage was rudimentary because not many ships had taken such a trip toward a similar destination. There was no prototype. There were no wealthy investors to provide the deep pockets that would ensure the success of the voyage. Indeed, our founders were sailing in murky not-for-profit waters, on a tiny ship, with limited resources.
But their mission was clear and their resolve was mighty. Most of all, their faith was great because they knew they were doing God's work and He was sailing with them.
The initial trip was a success. As the years went by, it became possible to acquire a larger ship and to explore more routes on the vast ocean of opportunity. Our portfolio of facilities grew--not only were we providing residential housing for low income elderly, we were also entering the areas of skilled nursing and assisted living, and housing for low income families and for people with various kinds of disabilities. Our voyage has achieved great national recognition as perhaps the most successful of its kind.
Retirement Housing Foundation has not always found the seas to be smooth. A few times in our history, we experienced stormy weather and were in peril of being dashed upon the rocks. Too much expansion too quickly, ventures with disappointing partners, unexpected slow rent-ups, and diminishing government programs in support of housing are some factors that have caused rough seas.
The belief that we would succeed, our knowledge that we are doing God's work, and the competence and dedication of our crew has brought us through. We know that we have hardly made a ripple in the waters of need--that our more than 14,000 residents are a mere drop in the vast sea of less fortunate people who need help. And that number continues to grow.
Right now, the sun is shining down on our ship. We have had an incredibly successful year. We are meeting the challenges through creativity, dedication and hard work. The Master Trust Agreement, into which we entered recently, has taken RHF to another financing level.
Opportunities for new development, both through acquisition and construction, keep appearing at our door. We continue to find ways to improve the quality of life of our residents. The future has never looked brighter.
Our voyage continues. Our ship is in "Bristol" condition, our motivation is high, and our faith is unswerving as we sail toward the new millennium in pursuit of our mission.
As I complete my fifth year as Chair of the Board of Directors and prepare to step down, I want to say how much I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve in this very special position. I also want to thank the superb RHF staff and my friends on the Board for all the support that I have received during my watch.
Jean Moore Warrick
Chairperson, Board of Directors 1998