Low turnout at Legal Aid’s IW community forum

Published 10:10 am Monday, April 10, 2017

No one showed up at the Virginia Legal Aid Society’s community forum for Isle of Wight County. The meeting was scheduled for Friday at noon in the Department of Social Services Building at the Isle of Wight County Courthouse Complex.

The purpose of the forum, according to the Legal Aid Society’s director of development, Rhonda Knight, was to solicit public input on what the civil legal needs were for low-income residents in the county, and subsequently, what people felt should be the Legal Aid Society’s priorities in Isle of Wight.

In addition to current and potential clients, she hopes to hear from partner agencies who serve their clients such as social services representatives and librarians.

“We have heard from a lot of our communities the need is great for anything to do with housing and landlord/tenant issues,” Knight said.

She may yet have the chance to receive their input, though, as this meeting was just one of several avenues the Society is pursuing to assess its goals. They have also distributed surveys, both to the population at-large and to community partner agencies in each area they serve.

“So, if they aren’t able to be here today, they have the opportunity,” said Managing Attorney Michael Stultz. “We do what’s called focus groups, there’s one in Franklin next week, which includes departments of social services, churches, etc. to come in separate from the community members and tell us what’s going on on a community scale.”

There will also be another community forum next week in Franklin at the Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library from noon to 2 p.m. Stultz said he has received calls from several people regarding that meeting so he is expecting a decent turnout.