Who we are

Justin Ellerby

Co-Founder,

Executive Director

Justin's passion for homesharing is grounded in his professional background in nonprofit cooperative housing, and by homesharing himself: three-times as a Guest and, with his partner Marta, as current Host to four individuals.


He holds an MBA in Community Economic Development.

Retired American Baptist pastor Rev. Virgil Nelson and Lynn, his wife of 53 years, have served as missionaries and development workers around the world for decades. The Nelsons have also been blessed to share their home with 17 individuals and families over the years.


Rev. Virgil Nelson

HSAR Co-Founder,

PPoFT Housing Committee Chair


Virgil has also co-founded five other US non-profits, including the first Habitat for Humanity chapter in CA, and currently leads three housing/ shelter initiatives of PPoFT.

Lynn Nelson

Volunteer Matchmaker


Lynn's passion for adult education, social justice, and community development equip her as a extraordinary, committed Volunteer Matchmaker (our first of many to come!)

Tara Loughran Benavides

HSAR Outreach Specialist


Tara first brought her passions for social justice, public education, and information management to HSAR as a volunteer, before HSAR was lucky enough to hire her.

A member of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, she holds a B.A. in Anthropology, and is completing her Master's in Sociology.

Lauren Werner

HSAR Outreach Specialist


Lauren has been a lifelong advocate and volunteer for underrepresented and misunderstood youth minority groups. She is sincerely passionate about instigating positive change in our collective community (and not least in its housing needs!). A recent graduate of Humboldt State University, she holds a B.A. in International Studies.

Ivan Denker Technical Support

Ivan works through the night (from Australia) to run things as simply and as securely as possible.

We've learned from the best!

We are deeply grateful for the generosity of knowledge, materials, trainings, and research continuously shared among our fellow nonprofit homeshare programs through our national association:

National Shared Housing Resource Center logo

Also a proud member of

Homeshare International logo