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May 26, 2023

Our conversation today with Jennifer Hall, Senior Director of Community Impact for United Way Northern Shenandoah Valley featured Jennifer Locke, Managing Attorney for Blue Ridge Legal Services. Blue Ridge Legal Services is a nonprofit legal aid society providing free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of the Shenandoah Valley and Roanoke Valley of Virginia.

Jennifer explained a popular misconception that everyone is entitled to free legal representation but the reality is that that only applies to criminal matters. Their legal assistance ranges from advice or brief service to ongoing representation in negotiations and litigation in state and federal courts and administrative agencies, depending on the needs of the client, the type of case, and available resources.

The most common legal problems handled by Blue Ridge Legal Services include:

  • Family disputes (for example, domestic violence, divorce)
  • Problems dealing with debts and bankruptcy
  • Housing and landlord-tenant disputes
  • Eligibility for various government benefits (such as food stamps, TANF, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits)
  • Access to health care (for example, issues involving Medicaid and Medicare)
  • Consumer disputes, and
  • Issues affecting seniors (such as exploitation and problems with nursing homes).

They do not handle criminal matters, traffic violations, personal injuries or malpractice cases, and other cases outside of their priorities.

Learn more about Blue Ridge Legal Services here: 

Jennifer Hall gave us details for Project Connect happening at Central High School in Woodstock on Friday, June 2, 2023, from 9am - 2pm. A second event will be held at Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School in Winchester on Friday, July 28, 2023, from 9am - 3pm.

Project Connect is the Shenandoah Valley's one-stop FREE resource fair. Receive assistance from more than 50 service providers, all under the same roof. What often takes months to accomplish can be completed in one day.

Project Connect is a project of United Way NSV that strengthens and utilizes collaborations with agencies, businesses, organizations, and the community to provide comprehensive services through an in-person resource fair event for those who are at risk of becoming homeless, are currently experiencing homelessness, or are living on the cusp of making it or not.

Attend the Woodstock event: Pre-register for quick access or to reserve a specialized service.

Provide a service at the Woodstock event: Are you a nonprofit? Inquire here about setting up at the event.

Volunteer at the Woodstock event: Over 18 and looking to give back? See their volunteer needs here.

Check out the highlights from Winchester's Project Connect 2022. Or view highlights from Woodstock's Project Connect 2022.

Learn more about both events here: Learn more about United Way Northern Shenandoah Valley here: 

Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend at:

Newtown Heritage Festival in Stephens City - hear that conversation here.

Safe at Home Community Day at Bing Crosby Stadium hosted by Reaching Out Now - hear that conversation here.

Meet local author Laura Elliott at her Winchester Book Gallery event - hear that conversation here.