Previous to being selected 24th overall, Harris hosted a draft party at the homeless shelter he and his family spent time in years ago. While in middle school, the Harris family lived at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) homeless shelter in Richmond, CA. For a few years, Harris, his sister, and their parents relied on the shelter to put a roof over their heads.
The family eventually moved out of the shelter and got their own place in Antioch, CA. However, Najee Harris hasn’t forgotten his roots. He chose to revisit GRIP and give back to the shelter that helped his family in their time of need. The Alabama running back threw a party and provided food for all the current residents of the shelter.
You’ve got to love that the 23-year-old was on the cusp of making millions later that night. But he still took the time to share his good fortune with the residents of his old home.
Najee Harris Calls It His ‘Job to Give Back’
Reporter Kylen Mills spoke with Najee Harris outside of the draft party at the shelter on Thursday. The newest member of the Pittsburgh Steelers shared how much it meant to him and his family to return to GRIP yesterday.
“It was really emotional for my mom. Almost as if she was crying, in a way, because like I said, we have a lot of memories here. That was a time in my life when it was really low at a point,” Najee Harris explained. “It brought back a lot of memories of what we were going through at the time.”
As the Harris family got back on their feet in Antioch, Harris thrived as a high school football player. His talents caught the attention of Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban. In 2015, the running back committed to the SEC powerhouse, which began a legendary college career for Harris.
He finished his career at Alabama as the all-time leading rusher at the school with 3,843 yards. Additionally, he’s the Crimson Tide’s all-time leader in total touchdowns with 57 (46 rushing, 11 receiving). But according to Harris, football isn’t his only job. He says giving back is his job as well.
“There was a time I needed a helping hand. They gave us an opportunity to get back on our feet. So it is my job to give back,” Najee Harris told reporters.
Regardless of how his NFL career pans out, Pittsburgh has selected one of the most grounded, well-respected players in all of football. Any team would be lucky to have a player, and person, like Najee Harris on their roster.