They call him Mr. Goodman because that’s exactly what he is to all of his neighbors. He BBQ’s for everyone, hands out food, toys and turned his home into a community center.
His real name is Mr. Roderick Coleman, a Pittsburg man who said that he’s trying to prevent children from going through the same path he once did.
Anyone would think Coleman’s house is just a regular home with an open garage, but it’s really much more than that. There’s bikes in there, tons of gym and boxing equipment and it’s all free for the neighborhood. The kids here call it “the garage.”
The children and neighbors gave him the nickname “Mr. Goodman” because of everything he does for them.
“He pays attention to what we do or don’t have and what we don’t, he brings around,” said 13-year-old Alayaa Canada.
Coleman is a veteran and recovered drug addict, who’s been making a difference in dozens of children’s lives since he moved to this Pittsburg neighborhood about two years ago.
“I wanted to give back to the community, because of the way I raised up, we raised up as a village and I wanted to reiterate that atmosphere. And that’s why I started off with a kids program here,” he said.
It all started when Coleman was boxing outside of his home one day. Children approached him as he started teaching them how to box, he then gathered bikes and other equipment the youth were interested in, and it quickly evolved into what he likes to call “The Neighborhoods’ Boys and Girls Cub.”
“I don’t want them going down the road that I went, so I want to give them the opportunity to do better,” Coleman said.
They even go on trips to places like the bowling alley or the fair. Coleman has a food pantry in his garage, hands out meals to the homeless, hosts community BBQ’s and lends a hand to neighbors anytime they need it.
“A lot of times at the end of the month i might need a loaf of bread or something and he has it and he won’t ask anything in return,” said neighbor Lydia Cantu.
Recently, Coleman asked city leaders for help after some of the kids told him, they wanted to play baseball. And after seeing everything he already does, city leaders and officers teamed up to donate the gear they needed.
“It’s like old school you don’t really see, its where neighbors are coming together and having dinner outside and communicating,” Pittsburg Vice Mayor Shanelle Scales-Preston.
Coleman said he is now planning a block party for the Fourth of July and is raising funds to expand his food pantry and become the good neighbor everyone needs.
Source: NBC Bay Area
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