Nashville woman goes from sleeping in store parking lot to store employee

Posted at 10:46 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 23:52:25-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — From sleeping in her car in the Kroger parking lot to becoming the store’s next cashier.LaShenda Williams' story is one of second chances.

"No one ever showed me love. No one ever showed me kindness. I got tired of being abused, physically, mentally and emotionally," said Williams.

She was laid off her job, doing what she could to make ends meet but the money quickly ran out and so did her friends. She wound up sleeping in her car in the Inglewood Kroger parking lot and using her last few dollars to buy bread and lunch meat.

Williams says it was a tough time. But she was on a first-name basis with the employees at the grocery store.

"One day I ran into a lady named Ms. Vandal and she says you know I see you all the time, you know we have a job fair," said Williams.

Associate Store manager for H.R. Jacqueline Vandal says she saw something in Williams that she didn’t see in herself. So on her old laptop, Williams applied for a position at Kroger right in the store.

"Once she finally got applied, I said you’re hired," said Vandal.

That was 10 months ago.

"Every day, no matter what I was going through, no matter the abuse or whatever I was going through I said Lord use me to be loving and caring," said Williams.

From calling the parking lot home to her Kroger family finding her a permanent apartment with all the furnishings, Williams says this is all a blessing.

"Everybody had their part in this store. Everybody blessed me in the store from every department to the front end blessed my life along with the customers," Williams said.

Now, she says her job isn’t just scanning groceries but adding love and joy to people’s lives every day.