Last night TAG members got a presentation from Arlene Glassner and Andrea Dzuris of the Motion Picture and Television Fund about the Fund's big retirement community in Woodland Hills. Board member Bronwen Barry was the moderator:
The Motion Picture and Television Fund has been around for 85 years. It started (literally) when Mary Pickford set out a collection box at a Hollywood Boulevard store for actors who were down on their luck.
The fund grew from there.
Chuck Jones weighed in with a videotaped anecdote about how he got involved with the Fund back in 1933. When an animator named Fon Scribner came down with tuberculosis, couldn't work, and the Fund paid his mortage and gave him "an element of hope." Per Mr. Jones: "The thing I feel about the fund is, you don't owe it anything. It's there to help..."
For me, the talk blew away some of the myths I'd had about the Woodland Hills retirement home: Like, you don't give the Retirement Home all your assets when you move in, although the rent isn't low (it's $3000 per month for a single -- activities, meals, cleaning and laundry included; $6500/month for a couple). But if you exhaust your savings after living there x number of years, the home doesn't displace you; the Fund will keep you on, subsidizing your rent and living expenses until you depart for greener pastures. (You need to have worked 7 out of the last ten years of employment in the movie or t.v. business, and earned at least $10,000 in each of those years.)
There are four levels of retirement housing: 1) Independent living, 2) Assisted living, 3) skilled nursing unit, and 4) the Alzheimers/Dementia unit. Individuals can go on a waiting list for residency at the age of 70.
The MPTF owns forty acres of Woodland Hills real estate, and only twenty of those acres have been developed. Which means the fund can double the capacity of its retirement community and have plenty of room for me when I todder through the main entrance.