Joe was a runner.
He was also a member of Back on My Feet, which faithful readers know I am a supporter of and volunteer for. (If you didn't know that, read my BoMF story here.) Back on My Feet uses running as the foundation of a program to help people who have become homeless, and who are often also fighting addiction, to reestablish their lives.
I met Joe a few months ago, just after hearing his "story". Hearing what he'd been through, where he'd come from, and seeing the man he'd become made his warmth and genuine care for everyone he met startling, and wonderful. And knowing the amazing man that had emerged from that layer of homelessness and addiction, I shutter to think of how he might have died had he not been given a chance to shed that unnatural layer.
As sad as it is to lose a good person, it warms my heart to know that Joe died in his sleep, naturally, clean, sober, in a bed, his head on a pillow, in his own apartment.
He also died knowing that he had friends who cared deeply for him, loved him, and who were inspired by him.
I encourage you to read more about Joe here.
I also encourage you to consider a donation to Back on My Feet so that they can continue to help good men like Joe... well... I guess to help them get back on their feet.