Life
Man takes chance on jobless handyman on side of road asking for work
Unsure of how it would pan out Kyle, owner of Greenstar Home Remodeling, reached out to Robert and took a chance on him.
Sasha Alonzo
08.04.21

Many people have been hit with tough times during the pandemic. Some people have been lucky enough to find help or support, while others, like Robert Simpson, have had to take desperate measures to get by.

Robert, who lives in Louisville, stood for several days at the side of a busy road, holding a sign that acted as a shortened down version of his resume. It read:

“Handyman. 25 years exp. Need work.”

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On his sign, there was also a number that a person could call if they had information about a job for Robert.

Robert wasn’t asking for money. He just wanted a job.

Though it must have felt daunting to stand at the side of a road, in the judgment of hundreds of commuters, he had reached the stage where he felt that he had no other choice.

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The 64-year-old found it difficult to share his story to WDRB.

He was choked up as he explained that his family stays at a hotel, and had to pay rent using only the money from Robert’s small disability check, entitling him to about $1,000 a month.

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Robert had been working odd jobs before COVID-19 hit, which threw everything into chaos. After that, he was unable to find work at all, and money was getting tighter and tighter. Robert explained:

“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.”

It turns out that Robert’s reason for living in a hotel was also due to COVID-19. He had lost the home that he, his girlfriend and her 6-year-old son had shared. And that’s when Robert knew he had to take serious action to land himself a job.

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For a week, he stood at the Hurstbourne exit off Interstate 64 in Louisville. The sun was burning, and he had no idea whether anyone would note down his phone number and give him a call.

He heard nothing back for several days. But then, somebody shared a photo of Robert to Instagram, along with the caption:

“This man was out on Hurstborne (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.”

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Miraculously, the post was picked up by someone who was genuinely able to help Robert.

Kyle Kark, owner of Greenstar Home Remodeling, decided to send Robert a text and agreed to take him on.

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The work is physical, and involves renovating office spaces. It’s a steady job, which is exactly what Robert was looking for.

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Speaking to WLKY News Louisville, he said:

“It feels excellent. It’s a blessing.”

Kyle, Robert’s good samaritan, explained how he had got in touch with Robert telling him who he was, and Robert immediately reached back out to him.

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Robert admitted:

“I didn’t even ask him what he was paying. I just came. And he’s been taking care of me ever since.”

Robert’s new boss has certainly gone the extra mile to help him out. He picks him up to bring him to work, as Robert doesn’t have a car.

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Not only that, but Kyle has started a fundraiser to help get Robert and his family out of his hotel. He wrote:

“Green Star Home has had the honor and privilege to work with Rob the Handyman today.

Though we will continue to help Rob and his family out when and where we can, we ask our community to also provide the much needed support.

Rob is a humble man and has not once asked for a dime he has not earned, but he and his family are without essential needs, such as a vehicle and a permanent place to stay, so it is Green Star’s hope that you will join us in supporting our neighbor Rob and his family by providing the funds needed to get him back on his feet.

We thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.”

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Amazingly, Kyle has surpassed his $20,000 target already, raising $24,626 for his employee. Hundreds of donations have flooded in, from $10 to $1,000. Robert Azar, who donated $1,000, wrote:

“God bless you and your family. I am honored to help you to gain a fresh start. You are the best this Country has to offer! A real role model.”

We’re sure that Robert is thankful for what he calls “God’s work”, and for everyone who saw his potential and donated to his family. Many strangers came together during his struggle and decided to help him get back on his feet again. To watch interviews with Robert and Kyle click the link in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Sasha Alonzo
hi@sbly.com
Sasha Alonzo is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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