Tiffany Newby lights up when she talks about her children, but her path to motherhood hasn't been an easy one.
"Waltie was my eighth child,” Newby told NBC 7. “My other children were taken due to addiction and some legal obligations to the State of California."
Ten years ago, Tiffany Newby was living on the streets with Waltie who was just three months old at the time.
She spent her nights riding the trolley, just so he had somewhere to sleep.
"It was a struggle, just things like cleaning bottles, when you're homeless with a baby, diaper changing,” she explained.
It got to a point, Tiffany said, where she couldn't take it anymore, so she enrolled herself in a year-long residential program at the San Diego Rescue Mission.
She sobered up and changed her life.
"It took me four years at the San Diego City College, because I had 103 units before I left there,” Newby said. “My confidence, my self-esteem was still low, but they encouraged me, and they helped me get signed into a bachelor’s. Even though I wasn't in the program anymore, they still helped me get into a bachelor’s."
From there, she pursued her masters and is now planning to get a Ph.D. in criminal justice.
"I had a life. I had family. I had a home. And here I was sleeping on a sidewalk at one point and living in a riverbed at one point,” she said. "But my kids, knowing that I really wanted my children, are what got me going…I have some awesome kids."
After she finishes her Ph.D., Tiffany wants to open a sober-living home for mothers, to help other women like her.