LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A handyman who was down on his luck took to standing on the street with a sign. But he wasn't looking for a handout.
He was looking for a job, and now he's got one.
Robert Simpson is newly employed at Greenstar Home Remodeling.
"They have me doing some demolition construction," he said.
But less than 24 hours ago, Simpson was begging for help. Not for money. Not food or shelter.
Just for a job.
His humble green sign was a sign of the times. It read, "Handyman, 25 years exp., Need work."
It's hard for the 64-year-old to share his story.
"My family stays in a hotel and..." Simpson chokes up. "Wait a minute..."
He's been living on a small disability check of about $1,000 a month.
"My family stays in a hotel," he starts again. "We have to pay rent..."
He chokes up again.
The stress and strain are evident even now. He had been working odd jobs to make ends meet.
That all stopped with COVID-19.
"We have to pay rent every day, and it costs $55 to $60 to stay there, and I'm running short on money," Simpson said. "Didn't have work."
For seven weeks, he said he's been living at the Red Carpet Inn with his girlfriend and her 6-year-old son after they lost their apartment in the pandemic.
That's when Simpson took to the streets with his sign.
"I just thought I'd go out there and see if I could find a job," Simpson said.
Simpson said he stood at the Hurstbourne exit off Interstate 64 in Louisville day-in and day-out for a week in the burning sun just trying to get work to get enough money to keep a roof over their head for another night.
Someone posted a picture of Simpson to social media, and that sparked Kyle Kark, owner of Greenstar Home Remodeling, to act.
"We just made the decision to have him come on," Kark said. "I don't know if we'll have something for him all the time, but we'll do what we can to help him get back on his feet."
On Tuesday, the job was creating better office space upstairs. It's easy work for Simpson, who has done this kind of job for decades.
"I started out as a painter, and then I became a landscaper — mechanical work, roofing — whatever I could make money at," Simpson said.
The owner of Greenstar Home Remodeling said he's committed to this cause.
Kark picked Simpson up for work Tuesday at 6:45am and planned to drop him off Tuesday at home with groceries. He agreed to pay him $100 for the days work.
"If he's coming to work and showing up and doing good work, and I got work for him, I'll definitely keep him on and help him any way that I can," Kark said.
It's not a handout but a hand-up to help the handyman build a better foundation.
"I think I'll enjoy working for him as long as he keeps me, and I'll put my all into it," Simpson said.
Somehow Simpson lost his apartment during the pandemic, which is not supposed to happen, given a freeze on evictions that is currently in place in Louisville.
The city also has two multimillion-dollar funds for rental assistance. One is from the Community Foundation of Louisville, and the other is funded through the CARES Act.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help Simpson. To access that GoFundMe page, CLICK HERE.
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