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 and advice can make all the difference for a tenant faced with potential eviction.

Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) has launched an Eviction Legal Helpline—a free service to provide information and legal advice by phone to tenants facing eviction. The Helpline is already reducing evictions and helping tenants preserve their access to quality housing in the future. But we need your help to serve as many of our neighbors as possible across Virginia.

Volunteer Description

Helpline intake volunteers return calls, gather basic information and documentation from tenants, and open a case file for an attorney to review. Volunteer attorneys then follow up with tenants, confirming the facts of the case and giving legal advice based on training and reference materials provided by VPLC. Any needed follow-up will be completed by VPLC staff.

The scope of the Helpline’s services is narrow—just basic information and legal advice about eviction. The commitment from each volunteer is modest and flexible. All activities can be performed from volunteers’ offices or homes on an internet-connected computer. VPLC offers excellent training, reference materials, and on-call support.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Eviction Legal Helpline, please register for one of two upcoming webinars for non-attorneys.

If you are an attorney licensed in Virginia interested in volunteering with the Helpline, please join us for the following webinar offered in conjunction with the Virginia State Bar Access to Justice. (Approved for 1.5 hours of CLE credit.)

Wednesday, August 21, 9:00 am | Register Here

Can’t join one of the webinars but interested in volunteering or learning more? 

For questions, contact Phil Storey at phil@vplc.org or (804) 418-3210.

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  1. Janet Smith says:

    I have a question regarding senior housing. I have checked the VA Landlord Tenant Act, but cannot find an answer. I live in Imperial Plaza, which is a 948 unit CCRC on Bellevue Avenue in Richmond. The current management group took over about 15 months ago. They have started assessing “fines” on seniors who are breaking the rules. If you are caught smoking in your apartment, it’s a $500 fine. If you have one of the grocery carts in your apartment instead of returning it to the basement, it’s a $25 fine. If you feed the feral cats or squirrels, the fine is $125. The Landlord Tenant act states that if one breaks rules, the landlord can terminate the lease agreement. No where does it address fines. My lease is still active under the previous management company, which was Brookdale. Nowhere in the lease does it address fines, except for the $500 if you’re caught smoking ins your apartment, which is a safety issue. I understand that several people have been fined for smoking and public drunkenness ($500.) I feel these fines may not be quite legal. I have researched and cannot find any information on this topic. Can you clarify this for me? The elderly are on fixed incomes, most have short term memory issues and can’t remember anything after five minutes. Thirty-five percent of the people in the Independent Living section cannot meet the standards and should be moved to Assisted Living or Nursing Homes. I’m trying to work with Senator Sturtevant on H.B. 6, which is the study regarding regulating independent living. I participated in the initial study conducted by Social Services. Seniors are getting a raw deal, in my opinion and something has to be done. I would appreciate any help you might be able to give me regarding the “fine” issue. Just an FYI, I worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center tracking hate groups, Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform, was a Board Member of the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center, and sat on the Board of the Alabama State Chapter of American Association of University Women. Not my first rodeo. Something smells fishy to me.
    Sincerely yours,
    Janet Smith
    1715 Bellevue Avenue #B219
    Richmond, VA 23227