Roanoke, Virginia


The Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley (LASRV) assists traditionally underserved populations in its service area including those residents living in poverty (12.5% of the region’s population), the elderly (nearly 18% of the region’s population), the disabled (about 8% of the region’s population), immigrants (about 4.5% of the region’s population), the LGBTQ population (about 4% of Virginia’s population), and women (about 50% of the region’s population).
Above: Legal Aid attorneys organizing tenants in a mobile home park nesting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley applies a full range of expert legal services to identify and resolve the most critical civil injustices facing low-income people. With grant funding from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, the LASRV was able to hire an additional housing attorney, changed a part-time attorney to full-time, and retained its housing paralegal, whose funding source expired. The grant also allowed the organization to expand its outreach, including a presentation on housing-tenant law in Virginia to approximately 50 landlords, and mailing postcards to nearly 350 potential housing clients who had recently been sued for eviction, inviting them to apply for LASRV’s help in court.

LASRV’s main funding partner is the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia, which administers Virginia state funds, and two funds designated for housing: Federal American Rescue Plan and Bank of America. The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust grant has brought LASRV to full capacity and allowed it to reach additional partners who are working on housing issues, including tenants’ groups and City of Roanoke committees.

Above: Legal Aid attorney Emily Jewett advocating for a tenant facing eviction. (Erica Yoon, Roanoke Times) Legal Aid attorney David Beidler lobbying on behalf of the poor in Roanoke Valley.