Tennessee Supermarket Hires Homeless Woman Who Slept In Car Park
A homeless woman who slept in a Kroger supermarket car park was hired by the store after showing her determination to get a job there.
LaShenda Williams, from Tennessee, lived out of her car nearly every night for a year after experiencing drug addiction, abuse and abandonment. She parked her vehicle outside the supermarket and leaned her seat all the way back so no one would be able to see her through the window.
Williams repeatedly asked the supermarket if they were hiring, and earlier this year she finally crossed paths with hiring manager Jackie Vandal, who gave her a heads up about an upcoming job fair.
You can see more about Williams’ story below:
On the day of the event, Vandal asked Williams if she’d applied online, explaining she couldn’t consider her for a job until she did. Williams hurried back to her car to retrieve an old laptop and the power cord and asked Vandal if she had a place she could plug it in.
For the following two hours, while Vandal conducted interviews, Williams worked on her application, with Vandal coming over to help between candidates. As soon as she’d finished filling out the form, Vandal told Williams she’d got the job.
Speaking to NBC about her decision, the hiring manager said:
It was just a sense, a gut feeling. You can just tell when people are really genuine and when people, you know, are trying.
Upon hearing she’d been hired, Williams burst into tears and fell into Vandal’s arms. Vandal hugged the new employee and said: ‘Don’t you worry about anything. I’m gonna work you to death, and we’ll take care of you.’
Williams told the hiring manager she’d show up every day and work hard, and eight months later Vandal said Williams still comes in every day with an upbeat attitude, telling customers: ‘Don’t let anybody steal your joy!’
After a few months on the job, Williams earned enough money to get her own apartment, while a customer named V.L. Williams rallied locals on Facebook to donate furniture, decorations and clothes, USA Today reports.
Williams expressed her delight at the support she’s received over the last few months, commenting:
I was sleeping in a parking lot and looking for something to eat. Now, all my babies here love on me. No one abuses me, and no one calls me dumb and stupid. For the first time in my life, I finally got peace.
Melissa Eads, corporate affairs manager for the Kroger Nashville division, told People the company was ‘lucky’ to have Williams as an employee, describing her as having a ‘contagious’ and uplifting spirit, and commending the positive impact she has on customers and her fellow employees.
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