A Woman Was Found Living Inside Grocery Store Sign in Michigan

She ran an extension cord to an HVAC unit and was able to utilize a Keurig coffee maker, a printer, and a computer in the small, triangle-shaped space.

Melissa Willets - Author

May 13 2024, Published 11:07 a.m. ET

In what people are calling a very sad sign of the difficult times we live in, contractors recently found a woman had been living inside a Family Fare grocery store sign for about a year.

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The woman reportedly had a car and a job, but found the unconventional living situation suited her needs given the extremely high cost of housing.

Read on to find out how the woman made the situation work, and how people on social media are reacting to this story.

Detroit, Michigan skyline
Source: Getty Images
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The woman's living situation highlights just how hard it is to find affordable housing.

The woman's situation may open a lot of eyes to just how hard it is out there to make ends meet.

She may have been living in the space in the sign at Family Fare in Midland, Michigan, about two hours north of Detroit, for quite some time before being discovered.

Saralyn Temple, director at Midland's non-profit Open Door, told NBC News the woman was not breaking any laws.

Jim Schaafsma, an attorney at the Michigan Poverty Law Program, told the outlet that this woman's story highlights the lack of affordable housing in the state.

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A spokesperson for Family Fare, the grocery store where the woman was found living in a sign, said in a statement that "Ensuring there is ample, safe, affordable housing continues to be a widespread issue nationwide that our community needs to partner in solving."

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On Twitter, it was reported that the chain made a donation to a local shelter organization.

As for how long she was living there? Well, it's been reported that she made the living situation work for at least a year, and was only discovered when contractors began working on the roof in April 2024.

The woman had created a makeshift home in the sign.

On Reddit, photos of the woman's living space were posted.

As you can see, it appears that she had a kitchen of sorts set up, complete with dry storage for her food, as well as a chair, and makeshift counter space.

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She also reportedly ran an extension cord to an HVAC unit, and was able to utilize a Keurig coffee maker, a printer, and a computer in the small, triangle-shaped space.

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One commenter shared some background on the woman, claiming, "Sadly, this happened in my town. She is a 34-year-old woman who has a job and a car."

According to the poster, 24 percent of the population in Midland, Michigan is living just above the poverty line.

"Housing costs have absolutely exploded in the last three years," the poster said.

Someone else claimed, "I'm from the area. She had a job and a car. She parked in the store parking lot overnight. They offered her resources and help after she was asked to leave, but she refused it."

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Some commenters lamented that this woman must have struggled with the elements, be it in summer or winter when the temperatures got extreme.

So many commenters empathize with the woman, with one saying, "Proof rent is too damn high when living in a plywood sign is a feasible alternative."

Others used humor to point out the irony in the situation. "It’s now listed for $1,750 a month," one commenter snarked.

Ultimately, people felt a level of disgust over her being discovered and presumably asked to leave. "People need to mind their business. Assuming you weren’t bothering anybody and just trying to get by? I hope things are better for you now," one commenter said.

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