When you’re shopping around for a handyman to fix something around the house, you probably want someone you know will get the job done quickly and efficiently. That’s why one man did not hesitate to hire Robert Simpson, a self-proclaimed handyman who had turned to begging for change and a job on the street because Simpson was advertising the fact that he had twenty-five years of experience doing the job.
Simpson comes from Louisville, Kentucky, where many people were shocked with ruin as the coronavirus pandemic swept through the American South and Midwest. Because Simpson was simply looking to get back on his feet, he held a sign advertising his handyman services, which was noticed by at least one person who wanted him for a specific job.
The sign read, “Handyman. 25 years exp. Need work.” Simpson also included a phone number for people to call if they were interested in hiring him for any off-job around the house.
Unlike most people with signs along the side of the road, Simpson was not looking for a handout. He was simply doing what he could to get the word out that he was looking for work. By getting his sign in front of thousands of people, he was increasing his chances of getting hired for a job – the very thing that could keep him afloat.
Simpson’s story eventually went viral, and WDRB approached him for an interview. At sixty-four years old, Simpson was desperate to find work in order to support his beloved family during a trying time in the middle of a global pandemic.
Hard times forced Simpson and his family out of their home. They had become homeless and were living week to week with the help of Simpson’s disability check, which earned him just about $1,000 per month. That’s not much money when you’re trying to support a family. Nevertheless, Simpson kept his head about him and tried to keep a positive attitude about the difficult circumstances he and his family found themselves in.
“We have to pay rent every day, and it costs $55 to $60 to stay there, and I’m running short on money. Didn’t have work.”
Before COVID-19 changed his life, Simpson had been working odd jobs to fill in the gaps in his income. However, the pandemic made it harder for him to find work, which forced his family into a very challenging situation. With a girlfriend and her six-year-old son to support, Simpson needed to find a way out of the hotel and into a more permanent living arrangement.
Desperate, he stood along Interstate 64 in Louisville along the Hurstbourne exit. He waited for a week before he received any interest in his handyman work.
Then a Good Samaritan took a picture of Simpson and shared it to Instagram, writing: “This man was out on Hurstbourne (Louisville, Ky) today. He isn’t asking for money. He just wants to work. If you know any businesses that may be in need of a handyman, please pass his number on.”
Kyle Kark, the owner of Greenstar Home Remodeling, decided to hire Simpson for some work.
Simpson could not be more grateful to be back at work.
“It feels excellent. It’s a blessing.”
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.