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FEATURES ARCHIVE

HOMELESSNESS DOESN'T STOP SHELTER'S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

Camilla Garner says she spent most of the past four years without a home, including months at a time living with a group of homeless teens who panhandled and pooled their money at night for a hotel room.

Sleeping on floors in a variety places made studying tough, so Garner says she quit high school at 18. Then she got pregnant and had a baby seven months ago.

Garner admits feeling destined to fail at that point. Yet her life has taken an unexpectedly positive turn: She’s one of six homeless students from the Salvation Army Center of Hope who are collecting their high school diplomas this graduation season.

That’s a record for the city’s largest emergency shelter for women and children. But experts are calling it encouraging news: It means teens are finishing high school despite weeks, months and even years without a stable home.

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Charlotte Observer