61-Year-Old Man Walks 35 Miles To Work So He Can Support His Family
Think you've got it rough?
Try walking more than six hours to work five days a week and having little if any spending money to show for it.
That's the sacrifice Iowa's Steven Simoff makes to care for his wife, Renee, and their unemployed, 22-year-old grandson, Steven III.
The 61-year-old trudges 35 miles to work the night shift as a janitor for the Lakeside Casino in Osceola, according to the Des Moines Register, regardless of the rain or snow in his way.
Renee's employment history isn't clear, but she suffered a stroke nine years ago and had two heart attacks in 2010, undergoing bypass surgery at some point afterward.
Her husband earns just $9.07 an hour to pay $400 a month for their basement apartment.
Moving closer to Simoff's job means higher rent, which they cannot afford.
They have a minivan but can almost never pay for gas.
So Simoff must leave his home at 3:30 pm and walk next to four lanes of traffic to arrive for his 11 pm shift.
He works Thursday to Tuesday and can usually get a ride three days a week, with Sundays being the hardest to catch a lift.
Sometimes he'll only have to walk a few hours to work, giving him an average afternoon commute of roughly four hours.
Simoff has been hitching a ride to work from Emil Segebart, who he met on an entrance ramp, for about 10 years.
You're trying to earn a living and doing what it takes. And this is what it takes.
When he has time, Segebart drops him off at the casino, where he spends nearly eight hours entirely on his feet. Other days, he just helps him get a little closer to his destination.
Simoff says he's walked in calf-deep snow but could not recall ever sustaining an injury during his commute.
He names Tylenol and aspirin as his only medication.
The little spending Simoff has goes toward groceries and shoes; he has to get a new pair every two months.
If I don't get to work, bills don't get paid. As long as my two feet are good and my health is good, I don't think I'll change.
The publication of Simoff's story will hopefully bring him the same fortune as Detroit's James Robertson, 56, who previously walked 21 miles to work round trip.
Robertson was given $350,000 and a new Ford Taurus from a GoFundMe campaign once his plight went public.