Bob Ingersol is not your usual handyman.
The retiree works for the non-profit Umbrella Organization of the Capital District.
“If I didn't have that service, I question that I could keep living in this house, because it just … there isn't a week that goes by that I don't come up with something that I need Bob to do,” said Patricia Mallon, one of his customers.
Serving more than 500 homes in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga and Rensselaer counties, Umbrella brings skilled and screened handy people to senior citizens. Most workers are retirees like Ingersol.
Mallon says that Umbrella has been lifesaving after her husband passed away, ensuring that she is able to keep her home.
“I had all these little things cropping up that I didn't know how to do myself that he would do,” Mallon said. “And as a person who's usually alone in the house, I really did didn't want to get anybody in off the street to do repairs. So, I was told about Umbrella, and they make sure that the people that are coming to your house are reliable and they vet them.”
Ingersol says the work has been gratifying and has kept him active for the past five years. He also feels that Umbrella provides something he didn’t expect: long lasting friendships and connections.