Reuniting Families During a Global Pandemic

Monday, June 29th, 2020

June is Reunification Month: a celebration of children in foster care returning home and reuniting with their loved ones. But for thousands of children and families currently separated through foster care, it has been devastating to be forced to stay apart during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some families who were on track to be reunified are […]

PRESS RELEASE: Va Supreme Court halts evictions through June 28 at request of Gov. Northam

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 CONTACT: Christie Marra, Director of Housing Advocacy [email protected] (804) 615-8150 Monica Lauw, Communications Manager [email protected] (804) 351-5262 RICHMOND, VA — Early Monday afternoon, the Virginia Supreme Court ordered that all residential evictions be immediately suspended for a period of twenty-one days. The order was issued in response to […]

Statement of Solidarity from VPLC

Monday, June 8th, 2020

At the Virginia Poverty Law Center, racial injustice is inextricably linked to our work eliminating poverty in the Commonwealth. Our mission is to break down the systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in poverty. It must be recognized that poverty rates for Black and Latinx Virginians are roughly double that of white Virginians. Therefore, we […]

When Should a Child in Foster Care Have a Say in Their Future?

Monday, June 1st, 2020

When a child has been removed from their family and placed into foster care, the court must decide the child’s bests interests when determining where and with whom they will be raised. Virginia requires judges to consult with each child placed in foster care during permanency hearing proceedings to determine whether the child should return home, live with a relative, be […]

PRESS RELEASE: Advocates & lawmakers turn to Governor Northam to protect tenants after Supreme Court of Virginia dismisses petition seeking to halt eviction hearings in Petersburg

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Advocates & lawmakers turn to Governor Northam to protect tenants after Supreme Court of Virginia dismisses petition seeking to halt eviction hearings in Petersburg  View pdf version of press release. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 21, 2020 CONTACT: Christie Marra [email protected] (804) 351-5275 Monica Lauw [email protected] (804) 351-5262 RICHMOND, VA­ — ­ Advocates and lawmakers […]

MEDIA ADVISORY: Virginia Poverty Law Center urges Virginia courts to protect tenants as courts reopen and eviction cases proceed

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Virginia Poverty Law Center urges Virginia courts to pause hearing eviction cases until adequate safety measures are implemented, tenants receive advance notice on court procedures related to COVID-19, and the Virginia courts determine how to apply federal laws to non-payment eviction cases. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday May 15, 2020 CONTACT: Christie Marra [email protected] (804) 351-5275 […]

Eviction Helpline Volunteer Profile: Peter Messitt, Esq.

Friday, April 24th, 2020

We’re pleased to share our first Eviction Legal Helpline Volunteer Profile featuring Peter Messitt, Esq. Peter Messitt retired in 2015 from the civil litigation division of the Virginia Attorney General’s office after 30 years of service. He began volunteering with the Eviction Legal Helpline about eight months ago, committing part of one morning or afternoon […]

Public Benefits and Hunger Programs During the COVID-19 Crisis

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

As we struggle to navigate a COVID-19-riddled world, please note that there are programs to help you through this. Many waivers have been applied for and many changes are being made to best serve the people. Here’s an update on what is going on in the WIC, School Meals, SNAP, and TANF worlds. To prevent […]

Update on Evictions During COVID-19 Outbreak

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Yesterday, we received a few responses to our COVID-19 update, telling us that some courts in Virginia are still proceeding with evictions despite the Virginia Supreme Court’s emergency order halting all non-essential and non-emergency court proceedings. VPLC and other legal aid advocates contacted the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Virginia Supreme Court and received the following […]

A Letter to Our Community

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

To our clients and community, As the situation around COVID-19 evolves rapidly, we are doing all we can to help slow the spread of the virus while still supporting those who are being hit hardest by the pandemic. We urge everyone to consider how to help those in our community who may be facing difficult […]

Simplifying Access to Justice for Civil Litigants

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

The purpose of a court system is to enable all citizens—equally, without regard to race, religion, or wealth—to seek legal redress: that is, to have wrongs righted and disputes decided by a neutral arbiter, under the laws of the land (before courts existed, people had to take matters into their own hands). While we are […]

2020 Crossover Report

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Last Tuesday was “Crossover Day” in the General Assembly, the last day for bills to be heard in the Senate or House of Delegates before crossing over to the other chamber for review. Check out our 2020 Crossover Report to learn more about the bills we support and oppose.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Broad Coalition Calls for Passage of Popular Virginia Fairness in Lending Act in 2020

Monday, January 6th, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday January 6, 2020 Contact: Monica Lauw, Communications Manager, Virginia Poverty Law Center [email protected] 804-351-5262 Broad Coalition Supports the Virginia Fairness in Lending Act Statewide leaders call on Virginia General Assembly to act in 2020 after predatory lending bills have languished for years Richmond, Va., – The Virginia Fairness in Lending Act […]

VPLC’s 2020 Legislative Priorities

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

View Virginia Poverty Law Center’s 2020 Legislative Agenda here. Stay updated on legislation we’re tracking here.

Relatives are Primary Caretakers of 70,000 Children in Virginia. The State Needs to Support Them.

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

“It takes a village to raise any child. The village shouldn’t pick and choose who to support.” When children can’t live with parents, for any variety of reasons, the next best thing for them is to live with relatives. Remaining in their communities, nurtured by someone they know and love and retaining their connection to […]

Governor Northam’s Budget Prioritizes Housing, Health and Families

Friday, December 20th, 2019

“Any budget is a moral statement of priorities, whether it’s a budget created by an individual, a family, a school, a city, or a nation. It tells us, mathematically, what areas, issues, things, or people are most important to the creators of that budget, and which are least important.” -Jim Wallis Virginia Poverty Law Center […]

PRESS RELEASE: Del. Jones, Del. Ware Announce Bipartisan Fair Energy Bills Act

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

View press release PDF. For Immediate Release December 12, 2019 Del. Jones, Del. Ware Announce Bipartisan Fair Energy Bills Act Legislation aims to address Virginia’s energy burden crisis by restoring SCC authority MEDIA CONTACT Office of Delegate Jay Jones: Austin Smith, [email protected], 757-625-8989 Office of Delegate Lee Ware: David A. Bovenizer IV, [email protected], 804- 598-6696 […]

Eviction Spotlight: Fighting eviction and reversing hundreds of dollars in unauthorized charges

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Madolyn* is a single woman in her 50s who lives alone in her apartment. Although its cost is very low, she pays 50% of her income to rent. Recently, Madolyn experienced financial trouble and got assistance from a local government agency to catch up with rent. But her landlord filed to evict her for a […]

As Healthcare.gov opens for enrollment on November 1st, most Virginians will see lower premiums and more choices on the Health Insurance Marketplace

Friday, November 1st, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jill Hanken [email protected] (804) 351-5258 Richmond, Va, – Open enrollment for health insurance available on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces begins on November 1st, and most Virginians will see more choices and lower premiums on the Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov. The number of insurers participating in the marketplace in […]

Eviction Spotlight: Woman with P.h.D. fights eviction with assistance from the Helpline

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Christina,* a single woman with a Ph.D. but a temporary disruption in her work, got behind on her rent, and her landlord filed an Unlawful Detainer. She contacted the Helpline and sent in copies of the notices she had received along with her lease. A Helpline attorney reviewed everything she sent and informed her that […]

We need high-quality representation for children. Family First Act funds can help.

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

At a discussion earlier this spring, Virginia youth shared experiences of working with the attorneys who represented their interests while they were in foster care. Some said they never met their attorneys; one said hers didn’t believe her when she told him she and her siblings were being abused in their foster home. This year’s […]

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