64-year-old handyman looking for work finally lands job at Jeffersontown company

Robert Simpson was hired after a photo of him asking for work goes viral on social media.
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 12:21 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Newburg man is celebrating a new start in life after he lost his job and home to COVID-19.

Wednesday was Robert Simpson’s second day working Green Star Home Remodeling, a far cry from where he was a few months ago.

“I’ve finally found somebody who has given me a job,” Simpson said. ”I just didn’t understand it. I’ve seen it on TV for everyone else, but never would think it would happen to me.”

Simpson, 64, told WAVE 3 News the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic cost him his full-time job and forced him out of his apartment. He said he’s spent the last seven weeks at the Red Carpet Inn on Hurstbourne Parkway with his girlfriend and her six-year-old son. He had been picking up odd jobs here and there while relying on a small disability paycheck.

It wasn't enough.

“[It was] a lot of pressure to make a payment every day,” Simpson said. “Every day.”

A week ago, after advice from a neighbor, Simpson made a sign and walked out to the Hurstbourne Parkway exit on Interstate 64. He stood with the sign for drivers to see, but he wasn’t asking for a handout.

The sign read, “Handyman, 25 years exp., Need work.” It also included his phone number.

Someone snapped his picture and posted it to Facebook, where it quickly went viral. The post caught the eye of Kyle Kark, the owner of Green Star Home Remodeling, who called Simpson on Monday and offered him a job.

“I wasn’t really sure or knew how we could use him, but I was willing to give him a shot,” Kark said. “If he wanted to do some work and make some money, that we could help him out.”

As of Wednesday, Simpson was helping Kark tear down and remodel the top floor of the company’s office building.

A small job that may seem insignificant to some, but to Simpson, it’s a chance to get back on his feet and prove good things come to those willing to get their hands dirty.

“Just don’t give up,” Simpson said. “Don’t ever give up. There’s a higher power and he will answer prayer.”

Green Star Home Remodeling has set up a GoFundMe page to provide Simpson with even more help. To donate, click here.

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