The Internet recently got hold of the heartbreaking story of Steve Simoff, 61-years-old, who walks 35 miles to his janitor job on a frequent basis. In order to support his house-ridden wife, who suffered a stroke nine years ago, the older man works at the Lakeside Hotel and Casino in Osceola, Iowa for $9.07 per hour.
He leaves home at 3:30 PM in order to get to his night shift at 11:00 PM. He doesn’t drive because he cannot afford the gas. He doesn’t move his family closer to work because the rents are too high.
Simoff and his wife also take care of their 22-year-old grandson, Steven, who helped out with household expenses when he was employed. He was laid off from a warehouse job in January.
Simoff told the Des Moines Register, in an interview, “That’s my idea of a responsible person,” when asked why he walk so far to work, on the highway and in all types of weather. Sometimes coworkers, passersby and even the local Decatur County sheriffs will offer him a ride.
The slice-of-life story is particularly relevant after the Internet’s power to do good was proved last month, when a similar story about James Robertson of Detroit, who walked 21 miles to work every day, wound up getting him $350,000 in donations and a new car.