Transitional shelter puts homeless veterans on path to housing

Cordell J. Tolor, homeless since 2014, has been touring new apartments.

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JOE MAHONEY/TIMES-DISPATCH

BY JOHN RAMSEY

It’s been a little more than a year since Tolor, 68, a Vietnam-era Army veteran, moved into the Liberation Family Services transitional shelter on Hull Street in South Richmond. That year has set him on a new course, he said.

That drawn-out timeline before looking for a new home is at odds with philosophies that favor programs that get the homeless into independent homes as quickly as possible over transitional facilities that work to get the homeless stabilized before finding them homes. The result is that most state and federal funding flows toward rapid rehousing programs rather than such shelters as Liberation Family Services.

For about six weeks before arriving at the Hull Street shelter, Tolor was living outside. He was a convicted felon from another state sleeping in parks around the city. He had moved to Virginia from New Jersey to start a new life but soon found himself with no money and nowhere to stay.

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