Partnership to Help Richmond Renters Facing Eviction

Thursday, June 27th, 2024

 Richmond, Va, June 27, 2024 – The Richmond Public Library (RPL) and Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) today launched a new partnership to help renters facing potential eviction. The program will provide guided assistance using VPLC’s new online Eviction Defense Center to answer users’ questions and help prepare them for court.

Patrons often ask librarians for help understanding their options when facing eviction. “Unfortunately, eviction affects so many in Richmond,” according to RPL’s Law Librarian, Charles Schmidt. “So, we are excited to partner with VPLC to expand our patrons’ access to vital justice services for staying housed.”

The Eviction Defense Center is particularly aimed at individuals who can’t get direct help from their local Legal Aid program. “It is designed to be simple to use on any smartphone or computer,” explains VPLC housing attorney Phil Storey, who heads the Eviction Defense Center. “But by making hands-on help and printing available at the library, the tool can serve more people with barriers to accessibility.”

Throughout this summer, librarians and VPLC staff will be available at select times to assist renters who need help getting online, navigating the Eviction Defense Center, or printing forms to take to court. The list of times and locations for this help is available on the library’s website,, or by calling the Law Librarian at the main branch of the library.

“Going to court is an intimidating and often confusing process,” says Storey. “People facing an eviction case without an attorney rarely get good outcomes by just winging it. The Eviction Defense Center will help them understand their rights and prepare for court in useful ways.”

 The Eviction Defense Center represents the latest initiative in VPLC’s ongoing campaign to expand assistance to thousands of additional Virginians in need by providing one-of-a-kind, multi-format, self-help resources.

Renters throughout Virginia can access the Eviction Defense Center at (English) or (Spanish).

Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) is the state support center for all civil legal aid programs in Virginia. VPLC’s work breaks down systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in the cycle of poverty through advocacy, education, and litigation.

The Richmond Public Library System serves Richmond and its bordering communities through nine library locations, one in each voting district. Our mission is to Inform, Enrich, and Empower Richmond’s residents.

RPL Contact : Charlie Schmidt, Law Librarian, 804-646-3425,

VPLC Contact: Connie Stevens, Communications Director, Cell: 540-354-8597, 

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