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Mother, daughter overcome years of homelessness to both excel in college

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    San Francisco (KPIX) — For Miranna Lindberg and her mom Wendy, making a meal in their own kitchen is something neither takes for granted. That’s because when Miranna was just 10 years old, her family relocated from Minnesota to California; a move Wendy says was needed to improve her health but one that made finding permanent housing difficult.

“It was actually very traumatic,” recalled Wendy.

The family would be homeless for about four years, and they moved around quite a bit during that time.

“Homeless shelters, transitional housing,” said Miranna. “[Many places] through the years before we came to the place where we are now.”

Miranna struggled and she says accepting her mom’s decision to move away from Minnesota was tough. And although Wendy managed to keep Miranna and her two siblings in the same school district, making friends was challenging.

“It’s hard to make friends in that time, especially when I was moving. And not in a great mental space because I didn’t want to move,” explained Miranna. “It was hard growing up, especially in elementary school. Not a lot of kids have the same experiences or if they do they don’t talk about it.”

Through all the family’s moves from shelter to shelter, Miranna focused on her studies and school became her safe space.

“I guess the way that I coped with it, I threw myself into school,” said Miranna. “That is how school became a big part of my life.”

Wendy never lost faith.

“It took a lot longer that a couple of years to get us into permanent housing,” said Wendy. “But I think that I made the right decision.”

After years of waiting, the family finally settled into a new home. Miranna graduated from high school and headed to the University of California, Davis. But Wendy had educational dreams of her own. She started junior college while the family was still waiting for a permanent home.

“I decided that once we got here that I needed to have an education,” explained Wendy. “So I started at the junior college while we were still homeless.”

From there, Wendy completed her degree at Sonoma State University and she graduated just last year. Now she works at the same homeless services agency that helped her own family get back on its feet.

“It was all so crazy,” recalled Miranna of her mother’s commitment and drive. “And she never faltered in her ambition to get us to where we needed to be.”

Miranna plans on becoming an obstetrician, and she says her mother is her inspiration.

“I love her,” declared Miranna. “But she does want a doctor in the family.”

“I did tell her that I wanted a doctor in the family,” admitted Wendy with a laugh.

Their future success, a testament to faith and family.

“Everyone says it, but it does get better,” said Miranna. “If you just work towards your goals.”

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