Before Najee Harris’ life changed with his big NFL moment Thursday night, the rookie revisited a homeless shelter he and his family lived in years ago ... and hosted a draft party!!
But, the 23-year-old star running back out of Alabama wasn’t just there to say hello -- Harris decided to give back in a big way by providing food for all the current residents!!
Harris transformed the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) homeless shelter in Richmond, CA into an awesome party scene ... decking the place out in football decor and bringing positive vibes to all in attendance.
The Pittsburgh Steelers draftee explained his decision to return to his roots on a monumental day ... telling reporters, "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."
Whatever team drafts Alabama's Najee Harris is getting a special person. Today he threw a draft party for kids at the homeless shelter where he lived for several years growing up. He told me it was emotional the first time he went back to visit. @kron4news#NFLDraft#RollTidepic.twitter.com/JadBIFh4pd
FYI -- GRIP housed Najee, his sister and his parents for years while the future 24th pick was in middle school.
Eventually, the family would move to Antioch, Calif., where Harris burst onto the high school football scene ... catching the national spotlight and keen eye of Nick Saban. Harris committed to the Crimson Tide in 2015, and the rest is history.
Harris caught up with reporter Kylen Mills outside of GRIP before the draft, and he told her just how special the return meant for him and his family.
"It was really emotional for my mom. Almost as if she was crying, in a way, because we have a lot of memories here. That was a time in my life when it was really low."
Harris is looking forward to hitting the ground running in Pittsburgh. No matter what the future holds in the black and yellow, it is clear he'll have no problem remembering his roots.