One of the first things you'll probably hear (or read) about Ronnie Goodman is that he's homeless. He lives in a homeless camp under Highway 101. But there's so much more about this inspiring 53-year-old native San Franciscan that's worth knowing. For one, he's a talented self-taught painter. He's also a running enthusiast. Recently, he's been training to run in the Second Half of The San Francisco Marathon on July 27, with a goal of raising $25,000 to help other homeless San Franciscans.
The money Ronnie raises will go to Hospitality House, a nonprofit that's been assisting the homeless in SF's Tenderloin district since 1967. Hospitality House offers programs like the Community Arts Program (CAP) that help artists – including Ronnie, who's been in the program for 10 years – get access to free art supplies, guidance, and even studios to create their art.
When he's not painting, you'll probably find Ronnie training – he's been running five to 15 miles everyday in preparation for the Second Half Marathon. In case you don't know much about the marathon itself, it's broken into three different races: the Full Marathon, the First Half Marathon, and the Second Half Marathon. The Second Half is known as the "locals race" because a higher percentage of Bay Area folks run this part – probably because the course is flatter and the race starts at 8:15 a.m., rather than 5:30 a.m. when the Full and First Half begin. All three races finish on the Embarcadero, but the Second Half starts at Spreckel's Lake in Golden Gate Park.
Aside from cheering Ronnie on in the race, you can help him meet his goal by donating to the #RunWithRonnie campaign. For every $10 donation, you'll get one entry into a raffle to win an original art piece by Ronnie Goodman. Make a direct donation to the campaign or donate when you register to run in the Marathon. If you're participating in the race yourself, you can also post #RunWithRonnie whenever you go out training to give a shout out.
Need more inspiration to get involved? Let Ronnie tell you himself how running helped change his life in this video:
Photos by Nich Barresi