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 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 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 […]

Escaping Domestic and Sexual Violence while Undocumented: One Survivor’s Story

Monday, August 26th, 2019

By Susheela Varky, Director of the Center for Family Advocacy and Legal Assistance for Victim-Immigrants of Domestic Abuse (LA VIDA) Program Think back to when you fell in love with your last partner. You wanted to spend as much time as possible with that person. Every little thing they did was charming and fun. They […]

Eviction Spotlight: Helpline stops wrongful eviction for woman living in Central Virginia mobile home park

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Janice* is a resident in a mobile home park in Central Virginia where she has lived for the past several years. She only had trouble paying rent once last year, and the landlord filed an Unlawful Detainer in the General District Court to evict her. Janice paid what she owed before the court date, known […]

A company went bankrupt and left over 200 employees without jobs or health insurance. Enroll Virginia stepped in to help.

Monday, August 12th, 2019

Recently, 240 employees of a Virginia business showed up for work and were informed that their employer had gone bankrupt. These employees were afforded a few minutes to gather their personal belongings and left with no employment and, for those who were enrolled in the companies benefits, no health insurance. Virginia Poverty Law Center’s Enroll […]

Volunteers Needed for Eviction Legal Helpline

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Research shows that eviction is a significant cause, not just a result, of poverty. And Virginia is suffering an eviction crisis among the worst in the nation. But no one should be forced from their home and have their life turned upside down simply because they don’t know their rights. Easy access to reliable legal information […]

Car Title Lenders: Driving Borrowers into a Cycle of Debt

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

No one should profit from trapping and feeding on families through predatory lending. But that’s exactly what predatory lenders do. Car title lenders provide loans that allow borrowers to use their vehicle title as collateral. The average interest rate charged by car title lenders is 216%, and if a borrower can’t afford a payment, car […]

E-loan sharking: the latest loan shark tactic used to evade Virginia law

Monday, July 29th, 2019

Loan sharks—payday lenders that catch borrowers in debt traps by offering small loans at high interest rates—have learned to survive despite attempted regulation by taking on a new disguise: e-loan sharking. E-loan sharking refers to massive, interstate internet-based payday lending. These operations are illegal in Virginia but have evolved to survive, working around state laws […]

Family Reunification: Why It Matters

Friday, July 19th, 2019

Reunification refers to the reunion of children in foster care with their families after parents have shown they can provide a safe and nurturing environment. For children, timely reunification is important: brain scans of elderly adults who were separated from parents as children show structural changes in their brains that have lasted a lifetime. Families […]

Virginia candidates are raising money—but where is it coming from?

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Recently, several stories surfaced about how much candidates are raising, but little is said about where the money is coming from—and that is important. Tracking a politician’s funding sources may reveal which donor is trying to exert influence over a candidate. Payday, car title, and internet lenders, large national companies that make loans at 200% […]

Eviction Spotlight: Vietnam War vet faces eviction over PTSD-triggered confrontation with property manager

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

At VPLC, we witness many landlords taking advantage of low-income Virginians through our Eviction Legal Helpline. The Eviction Spotlight series seeks to shed light on these stories. Mr. Bell,* a longtime resident of Richmond, is a resourceful Vietnam war veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other ailments from his service in combat. […]

Summer CAMHP in the Parks program brings community lawyering to mobile home parks

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

When residents of mobile home parks encounter a problem, legal aid attorneys across the state are there to help. From crumbling, ill-maintained park infrastructure to illegal mid-term rent increases, residents often face legal challenges and cannot afford a private attorney. But in these areas with severe need for legal assistance, many residents do not know […]

New landlord-tenant laws, foster care reform, and restored driver’s licenses: new Virginia laws take effect July 1

Monday, July 1st, 2019

Today, hundreds of new laws that passed during this year’s General Assembly go into effect, from new landlord-tenant laws to foster care reform. Here are a few to note. Other New Laws Related to VPLC Focus Areas Medicaid and Mental Health: An adopted budget increases reimbursements for Medicaid primary care physicians and licensed mental health […]

Eviction Spotlight: Senior woman faces eviction from landlord over missing rent from housing authority

Monday, June 24th, 2019

At VPLC, we witness many landlords taking advantage of low-income Virginians through our Eviction Legal Helpline. The Eviction Spotlight series seeks to shed light on these stories. Ms. White* is an African American senior citizen living on her own in a home she can afford because she has a Section 8 voucher. The home is […]

Aging and fraud: how to fend off scammers as we grow older

Friday, June 7th, 2019

As we age, we become more vulnerable to scammers. According to a report by NPR, as few as one in 44 cases of financial scams are ever reported, and older people lose anywhere from $2.9 billion to $36 billion each year from financial exploitation. It’s a scary prospect, knowing that many adults with no cognitive […]

After 10 long years, a LA VIDA client finally receives her green card

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

Alicia* was getting ready to have nursing school graduation pictures taken when she got a call from VPLC.  “Don’t make me cry!” she squealed with delight.  After waiting 10 long years, she’d been granted her green card, or Lawful Permanent Resident status. Alicia and her mother came to VPLC in 2011, when she was just […]