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Focal Point

  • House of Bread offers skills training to women in the Roanoke area who were previously incarcerated, under-resourced.
  • The Restorative Suspension Center focuses on conflict resolution, repairing past harm and healing relationships.
  • Watch
    Tax levies and losses bring people together in government meeting rooms, in auditoriums, on courthouse steps and even at country clubs, as properties with unpaid taxes are auctioned to the highest bidders. Except for developers and investors, not many people talk about the people and the stories behind those properties that change hands to pay the localities’ bills.
  • Watch
    In the early 1900s, Black Americans owned 19 million acres of land—today that number has dwindled to three million acres. Land loss often occurs when a landowner dies without a will. And when there is confusion about unpaid real estate taxes, the land is at risk of being auctioned by local governments. We speak with Kajsa Foskey, who is fighting to protect family land and Parker Agelasto.
  • The ferry began running between Virginia and Maryland during the 1700s.
  • Watch
    Civil forfeiture laws give police the authority to seize property allegedly involved in illegal activity. To get the property back, the burden of proof typically falls on the owner, who must demonstrate innocence. Over the years, Virginia has made efforts to reform these laws to provide more protection for property owners. Yet, the Insititute for Justice, a non-profit law firm based in Arlington, gives the state a D- grade for its forfeiture laws.
  • Watch
    Late last year the Upper Mattaponi bought 855 acres of riverfront land from a gravel mine company. The tribe plans to use the land for environmental conservation and ecotourism.
  • Watch
    A church planted in the midst of a working farm, complete with horses and pigs, partnered with neighboring congregations to retire the medical debt of neighbors in four nearby localities. They worked through the New York-based RIP Medical Debt to give neighbors a fresh start. Pastor Justin Moore and his wife were inspired by other churches that had taken on similar projects.
  • Watch
    A JMU graduate paid off $60,000 off student loan debt in 5 years. She says the key to her success came down to finding the right community.
  • Watch
    Medical debt is a problem that affects more than 500,000 Virginians. Medical bills that are beyond someone’s financial capacity can drive people into bankruptcy.