- Najee Harris suffered from homelessness at a young age, causing him and his family to move-in and move-out countless times.
- Despite the challenges, Najee took heart and chose to focus on sharpening his talent in football.
- Now, he became the 24th overall draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers and celebrated this milestone with the homeless residents of the shelter he once lived in!
Najee Harris will always look back on where he came from, even in the midst of big achievements.
Najee had a tough past. His family had faced a lot of financial struggles, the main reason of their homelessness. They tried to cheat destitution only to end up with countless move-ins and move-outs. Najee experienced moving out for up to 10 times by the time he graduated from Antioch High School.
In 2010, the Harris family started living in a small room at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program homeless shelter.
Despite all the hardships he faced at a young age, Najee had his way to win out — by harnessing his given talents. He became a football superstar in high school and soon earned a college scholarship to play for the University of Alabama.
Najee didn’t stop there. He strived to thrive in this field, and by 2021, he made it to the NFL! He was the 24th overall draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers!
It might be natural to think that this achievement will push Najee forward to his new life. Instead, he decided to look back. Before accepting his position, Najee celebrated this milestone with the homeless. He returned to the shelter he once called home and threw a big party for them!
While everyone was enjoying the party, Najee and his family took a tour of the room where they once lived in. It was an emotional moment for them, which “brought back a lot of memories.”
“It was really emotional for my mom,” who was crying, Najee explained. “We have a lot of memories here. That was a time in our life when we were really low at a point. It brought back a lot of memories of what we [were] going through at the time, for me too.”
Najee hoped that their visit will bring encouragement to the residents, who are still trying to find a place they can call their own. He wanted to make them realize that he was once in their shoes, but he has gotten through it all.
“He did not let his situation dictate his future,” Shelter manager Siu Laulea said. “It makes me feel proud and makes me enjoy my job more because I know I made a difference in someone’s life.”
Source: Inspire More