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NFL 1st round draft pick, Najee Harris, holds draft party at homeless shelter where he used to live

NFL 1st round draft pick, Najee Harris, holds draft party at homeless shelter where he used to live
NFL 1st round draft pick, Najee Harris, holds draft party at homeless shelter where he used to live. Via: CBS Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Steelers might have just drafted the star among stars.

On one of the biggest nights of his life, first-round draft pick, Najee Harris, decided to give back to his community, by throwing a draft party at the same homeless shelter where he used to live.

“I wanted to make sure that I could give back to the community and show them if y’all still need anything, I’m never too big or too whatever to help you guys out – I’m always going to be the helping hand,” Harris told reporters.

During Thursday night’s draft, the former Alabama running back bought pizza and goodies for the children at the shelter – an experience that sent Harris and his family on a trip down memory lane.

Najee Harris and his mom.
Najee Harris and his mom.

Memory Lane

“It was really emotional for my mom — almost as if she was crying because we have a lot of memories here. That was a time in my life when it was really low. It brought back a lot of memories of what we were going through at the time,” he said.

Najee Harris and his Mom at the homeless shelter where they lived over 10 years ago.
Najee Harris and his Mom at the homeless shelter where they lived over 10 years ago.

Back in 2010, Harris lived with his mother and four siblings in a tiny room at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program shelter.

A young Najee Harris and his siblings.
A young Najee Harris and his siblings.

“His mother was instrumental in getting him and all those children through what would normally be the most horrific experience of their lives,” Kathleen Sullivan, the organization’s executive director told CBS.

In the spirit of not forgetting where he comes from, Harris isn’t stopping at the draft party. As his success grows, he plans to open a nonprofit organization to continue helping the community.

NFL 1st round draft pick, Najee Harris, holds draft party at homeless shelter where he used to live
NFL 1st round draft pick, Najee Harris, holds draft party at homeless shelter where he used to live.

“You know for me moving up I’m getting more attention, more cameras and stuff, that’s good. Because it’s shedding more light on the situation,” Harris said of how he’s using his success.

“There was a time I needed a helping hand. They gave us an opportunity to get back on our feet,” he said. “So now it’s my job to give back,” he added.


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