WHAT WE DO
Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to breaking down systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in the cycle of poverty through advocacy, education, and litigation. Since 1978, we’ve advocated for legislation that benefits low-income Virginians and provided training to legal aid organizations throughout the Commonwealth in the following areas: housing, consumer rights, domestic and sexual violence, elder rights, family and child welfare, health insurance, and public benefits. We are the only statewide organization that provides training to local legal aid program staff, private attorneys, and low-income clients relating exclusively to the legal rights of low-income Virginians.
HOW WE CATEGORIZE OUR WORK
At VPLC, we organize our work into three centers: The Center for Economic Justice, the Center for Family Advocacy, and the Center for Healthy Communities.
ECONOMIC JUSTICE: Includes affordable energy, consumer rights, and housing. A fair and thriving marketplace demands that consumer’s rights be respected and protected. This includes consumers of credit unions, banks, loan companies, rental properties, consumer goods, and more. These issues often impact low-income Virginians the most. The Center for Economic Justice helps pinpoint government programs, legislation, and other resources available that will benefit those living in low-income households. This includes advocacy training and directing consumers to representation.
FAMILY ADVOCACY: Includes domestic and sexual violence and family and child welfare. Advocacy on behalf of children and parents helps elected officials and stakeholders understand what is needed to maintain stability for low-income families. Victims of domestic and sexual violence and those who represent them need tools to navigate the legal pathways available. Families dealing with divorce, custody issues, and visitation rights need help understanding the complicated laws dictating these matters. The Center for Family Advocacy helps families in Virginia with programs, policies, and solutions that impact their lives today and helps them plan for tomorrow.
HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: Includes health insurance, public benefits, and elder law. Access to health care and food is critically important to low-income Virginians. The Center for Healthy Communities focuses on ensuring that programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, FAMIS, SNAP, TANF, and Social Security help low-income Virginians as they were designed to. Our staff serve as advocates and trainers and can help find representation for children, pregnant women, the elderly, and others needing health care services.