- LaShenda had been homeless and jobless for about a year after struggling with drug addiction and abuse.
- That changed late last year when the hiring manager at Kroger where she often parked to sleep, hired her and gave her a job.
- Now, she has her own apartment and the whole community is donating clothes, shoes, furniture, and others to help her start a new life!
After about a year of being homeless and jobless living in her car parked at a Kroger grocery store, LaShenda Williams is now given a new hope and a fresh start in life as the store’s hiring manager gave her a job.
LaShenda had struggled with drug addiction and abuse which led her to being without a home for almost a year. She would drive around during the day but most often, she’s parked at the store’s parking lot to sleep.
“I would lean my seat all the way back so no one would see me because I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there,” LaShenda told NBC Nightly News.
Then she met Jackie Vandal, the hiring manager at Kroger, who changed her life. Late last year, she was told about the job fair, and she immediately applied and got hired on the spot!
“It was just a sense, a gut feeling,” Jackie said. “You can just tell when people are really genuine and people you know are trying.”
In December, LaShenda became officially part of Kroger. What she does is monitor and assist customers in the self-service checkout counters. In May, she’s able to get her own apartment with one bedroom which her co-employees helped her set up.
Kroger’s corporate affairs manager, Melissa Eads, Nashville division, told TODAY many people from their local community and LaShenda’s co-workers, have donated clothes, shoes, home items, and even furniture, to “help her get back on her feet.”
LaShenda is grateful for all of them and for giving her a chance again. “For the very first time in my life, now I know what love is,” she said in tears. “Now I know what friendship is.”
In return, she does her work best as described by Melissa.
“We are so lucky to have Lashenda as part of our Kroger family,” she said. “Her uplifting spirit is contagious. She has made such a positive impact on her fellow team members, and so many customers as well.”
Way to go LaShenda and good job to the whole community behind you!