Jane Piper Lunt – Chairman
Jane has been working with unhoused people since the mid-80’s, when she was Director of an adult literacy program for her local school district. She is trained as a tutor and sensitivity/tutor trainer. She took a grant writing course from the North Central Texas Council of Governments and served on two different community development advisory boards, where she successfully convinced the regional HUD board to have their top priority changed back from public works to low-income housing. She has taken The United Way Mental Health first aid course, several leadership courses and organizational courses through both Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America. She and her husband have run a successful small business since 1995 where they have mentored several people in business practices. She has been an art teacher, a college English tutor, and a hospital post op medical assistant. Having been homeless herself, she is very familiar with the difficulties and obstacles of homelessness.
Layla Comeans, Vice Chairman
Her education about homelessness began at 14, living in a car. By the age of 18, she was a single mother herself and certified in the field of nursing. At 22, she married a superhero who trained her in the field of construction. She then organized and facilitated the launch of a successful residential and commercial repair and remodeling business with zero capital, which she owned and operated for 15 years. She has a diverse array of skills, both in business operations, construction, and project management. Her heart was to serve the community, which she did by providing low/no-cost repair services to elderly citizens in need. After relocating to Denton, she became a full-time volunteer, housing advocate, and founding member of the Quakertown outreach team, who, together with Bridging Hope, provided clothing, necessities, and thousands of weekend meals. Layla fully believes that it takes a village. And in the absence of a village, she’s willing to build one. Her certifications Include: Construction Safety and Health, Modern Project Management, Facilities Management, Supporting Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Mental Illness, Health and Safety for Caregiving, and is currently on course for certification as a Cognitive Behavior Therapist. She currently serves on the homeowner Services committee for Habitat for Humanity.
Deborah Wright – Treasurer
Deborah spent her professional career, starting in the mid-80’s, working with adults and teens in Education and Social Service positions. She has worked as a Parole Officer, Legal Assistant, Teacher (specializing in Adult Education, and Career and Technology), Appeals Analyst, and Librarian. She has a passion for working with people and helping them develop the personal and professional tools to succeed in anything they set out to do. Deborah has her Associate’s degree in Legal Assisting (NCTC), Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice (UNT), and Master’s in Library and Information Science (TWU). She has also done graduate work in Correctional Special Education and Applied Technology, Training and Development at UNT. She is a former Treasurer, Catholic Daughters of America, local chapter and a Current member, Community Services Advisory Committee. Deborah believes that each person has value and deserves respect and the chance to make choices in what direction their life will take. Given the tools they need, every person can succeed. It’s not up to us to define that success, but to provide the tools.
Mary Wright – Secretary/Historian
Mary has been working directly with people since she was 17, starting out caring for infants and children in both professional and volunteer settings. With knowledge and education in early child development, she has helped educate children and parents alike. While still having a passion for working with children, Mary now works with an active living 55+ community in the Community Standards Department, ensuring that neighbors are working together to keep everyone proud of their community. In any professional or day-to-day setting, Mary’s main focus is to make sure that everyone around her feels supported and that they have the resources to make the best choices for their own life, whether that be by doing research herself or offering hands-on help.
Douglas Gustafson – IT & Project Adviser
Doug is Chairman of HomesNOW! Not Later and has run two successful tiny house villages for two years and counting in Bellingham Wash. Doug is one of the original co-founders of HomesNOW. He has been a small business owner for over 10 years, providing community Information Technology (IT), graphic design, and web development services. Doug supports individual clients as well as regular ongoing 24/7 IT support for over a dozen medical clinics (over 200 employees, and 20+ servers). Doug has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and Social Sciences with a minor in Sociology from Western Washington University. Doug uses his well-rounded skillset to quickly adapt to new challenges as they arise and has experience automating and simplifying complex systems to ensure that everyone has clear lines of communication and access to the information they need to be successful.
Krystal Shuttleworth – Procurement
Krystal has a double major Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise & Sports Sciences and Psychology. She was a teacher and coach for several years before becoming a single mom. She served as a team leader for Celebrate Recovery, where she helped run the group meetings, led open share time for those struggling with co-dependency, and led step studies for women struggling from co-dependency, addiction, sexual assault, abuse, and various other traumas. She started a single mom’s group at Singing Oaks Church of Christ where she helped moms learn healthy coping mechanisms when feeling overwhelmed, taught moms how to deal with parenting solo & finding resources to connect with networks to relieve some of the stress that comes with parenting alone.
Beth Varma – Fundraising Chair
Beth grew up in Wisconsin, coming to Texas for graduate school at Baylor University, where she earned a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has worked with adults with brain injury as well as in pediatrics. Beth has also volunteered in the areas of child abuse prevention and feeding the hungry. She believes every human being deserves respect and that each person should have the opportunity to build a life for their self that is truly their own.
Dallas Guill – Grants
Dallas Guill is the Director of Corporate and Foundation Communications in UNT’s Division of Advancement. Mr. Guill received his Bachelor’s degree in English and Master’s degree in Professional and Technical Communication (both from UNT). He previously served as a grant writer for Texas Theater and membership associate for the Greater Denton Arts Council. During his time in Denton, Mr. Guill has worked with several non-profit organizations as a grant writer and fundraiser, including Thin Line Film Fest, Friends with Benefits Denton (which he co-founded), and Denton Animal Support Foundation. He also previously served as the chair for Giving Day Denton, in conjunction with Communities Foundation of Texas’ annual North Texas Giving Day. He currently serves on the UNT ELEVAR Advisory Board.