Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

California training program helps single mom overcome homelessness

In the course of one year, Camille Patterson went from being homeless and unemployed to a graduate with her technical certificate and three job interviews.

In 2016, after losing her job, Patterson, 25, and her young son were living out of her car in San Bernardino, California, not knowing when they would have their next meal. She saw a poster about an educational program offered through San Bernardino County's Transitional Assistance Department, which provides technical training free of charge. Students learn the skills necessary to make it in several industries, and receive federal certification. Patterson's goal was to follow in her father's footsteps and become a machinist. "Not having a home for my son to call his own, that was going to ruin me, but I figured failing is not an option, you have to keep going, especially when you have someone little looking up to you," she said.

It wasn't easy — she struggled with trigonometry, and had thoughts of quitting — but she stuck it out, and last month graduated from the San Bernardino County Technical Employment Training program. "They believed in me," Patterson told ABC 7. "I didn't believe in myself, so to have someone backing me up, with no family … the school was like, 'You can do this. You can do this.'" Catherine Garcia