What We Can Learn From A Woman Who Lived On A Supermarket Roof For A Year

This anecdote highlights a critical nationwide problem. What We Can Learn From A Woman Who Lived On A Supermarket Roof For A Year YouTube screenshot/NBC News

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Times are tough for millions of Americans and many millions more living in nations around the world. Making matters worse in a growing number of communities is a lack of affordable housing, which has forced too many individuals to make some very tough choices.

That brings us to the case of a 34-year-old Michigan woman.

Show me a sign

According to police in Midland, the woman was recently found by contractors working at the Family Fare grocery store after she had been living inside its rooftop sign for months.

“I personally have never encountered a situation like this, and neither have my colleagues,” explained Officer Brennon Warren.

Here’s what we know about the makeshift shelter she created in the triangular sign:

  • The area was less than 15 feet long, about five feet wide, and eight feet tall at its apex.
  • She took steps to make the place habitable, including with bedding and a floor.
  • Police also found a coffee maker, computer, desk, and printer in the small space.

It was unclear how she gained access to the location, but authorities say she successfully evaded detection for about a year.

A broader problem

Upon being confronted by police, the woman reportedly acknowledged that she shouldn’t have been living there and agreed to leave. As of the latest updates available, she was not facing any criminal charges.

Family Fare staff said they’d ensure that she received all of her property.

But this case is just one example of the many individuals struggling to find long-term housing in the area and beyond. Saralyn Temple, who runs a local shelter and soup kitchen, said she has seen a significant increase in demand. After welcoming about 40 people daily last year, she said: “Now we’re seeing in the 50s every day for lunch.”

Chris Agee
Chris Agee May 13th, 2024
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