Homeless woman who slept in grocery parking lot for a year hired by Kroger

A Nashville Kroger grocery store hired a woman who had been sleeping in its parking lot for a year.

LaShenda Williams told USA Today that she had been battling drug addition and had been spending the nights in her car at a Nashville Kroger after driving around different locations during the day.

“I would lean my seat all the way back so no one would see me because, you know, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there,” Williams told Today.

At the end of last year, Jackie Vandal, a manager at Krogers, noticed Williams and encouraged her to attend an upcoming job fair, according to Today.

On the day of the job fair, Vandal told Williams, who was one of the first applicants, that she would need to fill out an application online. Williams later appeared with an old laptop asking if she could plug it in.

With some help from Vandal, Williams spent a few hours filling out the application. Once Vandal saw the message indicating she had successfully applied, Vandal hired her on the spot.

Williams has worked at the store since December and with the help of her fellow Kroger employees as well as leaders in the community, now has an apartment.

“She’s a fantastic worker, I wish I had 120 of her,” said Vandal told WKRN.

“We are so lucky to have Lashenda as part of our Kroger family. Her uplifting spirit is contagious. She has made such a positive impact on her fellow team members, and so many customers as well,” Melissa Eads, a corporate affairs manager for Kroger Nashville Division told Today.

Williams says it is easy to be enthusiastic after everything that has happened.

“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,” Williams told USA Today.