Virginia Legal Aid opens new office

Published 6:29 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

Virginia Legal Aid Society officially opened its new Suffolk office with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. 

The office at 2480 Pruden Blvd. serves Isle of Wight, Sussex, Southampton and Greensville counties and the cities of Suffolk, Franklin and Emporia. The new office provides the space, layout and technology to help VLAS make a bigger impact, officials said. 

“Through the expansion of our work in critical areas such as eviction prevention and domestic violence, our Suffolk team is touching more lives than ever,” said David Neumeyer, executive director. “This Suffolk office building will help us continue to expand the work we do. The new building is the result of three years of planning, fundraising and renovating. Thank you to the many individuals and organizations who supported this project.”

Obici Healthcare Foundation provided a major contribution to launch the capital campaign to pay for the new office location. The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation provided a challenge grant that encouraged other donors to match the foundation’s gift. Other contributors included:

  • Blocker Foundation
  • George Birdsong
  • Pruden Foundation
  • Community Action Coalition of Virginia
  • Camp Foundations
  • Franklin Southampton Charities

“We’re proud of our longtime partnership with Virginia Legal Aid Society and our role in providing anchor support to assist in the opening of this new office,” said R. Battle Betts Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Obici Healthcare Foundation. “VLAS in Suffolk has been a unique partner in our efforts to improve community health outcomes in Western Tidewater, and we look forward to serving the community together for many years to come.”  

When VLAS moved into its previous Suffolk office at 155 E. Washington St. in 2008, it had five people on its Suffolk staff. Today, VLAS employs 11 people in its Suffolk office – roughly twice as many people as rooms in the Washington Street office. The office’s impact on the community has also grown. A decade ago, the office closed 493 cases that helped 1,138 people. In the year that ended June 30, the office more than doubled those numbers to 1,170 cases and 3,059 people helped. In addition, the office’s community outreach helped educate more than 1,000 additional people about their rights and responsibilities under Virginia law.

VLAS is now offering its Washington Street office building for sale. Proceeds will go toward completing the capital campaign for the Pruden Boulevard office.