Steven Simoff: Iowa man commutes 35 miles to work on foot

The 61-year-old wears out a pair of shoes every two months

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The Independent US

Sometimes people stop to pick him up. But in this day and age that is not guaranteed; motorists are suspicious, worried.

And so on those occasions Steve Simoff’s only real alternative is to keep walking. All 35 miles if needed. And then he has to get home.

The 61-year-old does not think there is anything that extraordinary about his commute, or that of James Robertson from Detroit, who whose story became international news last month when it was revealed that he been making 21 mile round trip to his factory job for many years.

“First of all, when you got a family, and you’ve got a job, you've got to be able to support your family,” Mr Simoff told the Des Moines Register “And you've got to keep your job — the most two important things I can think of.”

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Steven Simoff and his wife Renee live in Davis City, Iowa

Mr Simoff, from Davis City, Iowa, works at the Lakeside Casino in Osceola where he does the night shift as a janitor. His regular shift starts at 11pm and so he sets off on foot most days at 3.30pm. Apart from two fifteen minute breaks, he spends his shift on his feet. He earns $9.07 an hour. He wife receives disability benefit after suffering a stroke.

He said that he never thumbed for a ride but that people stopped to give him a lift, some of the way, three days of five. He said that Sundays were the trickiest as there was less traffic on the road. He told the newspaper he estimated he walked an average of four hours every day and wears out his shoes every two months.

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James Robertson, who walked 21 miles to his job in Detroit, bought a car with donations from the public

Mr Simoff lives with his wife, Renee, and their grandson, Steven, whom they adopted. Recently they bought a car but struggle to pay for the petrol. The reason they live in Davis City is the affordable rent – just $400 a month.

More recently Mr Simoff has been getting a lift part of the way home with a colleague. As a result he only has an eight mile walk back to his house. The story of Mr Robertson’s walk to his factory resulted in an outpouring of public admiration, matched by $350,000 in donations. The money has made life easier for him, but he has had to move out of his home for safety reasons.

Mr Simoff told the newspaper he has no plans at this stage to change his routine. “If I don’t get to work, bills don’t get paid,” he said. “As long as my two feet are good and my health is good, I don't think I'll change.”

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