Former Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter and his wife Christy are lending a helping hand to Pittsburgh’s special needs community.
The Porter family is reinventing Sheraden’s Holy Innocents Parish into a multi-service facility and community center, the Jasmine Nyree Campus.
Named after their daughter who was born with severe autism, the Porter wanted to create a space where special needs children and adults could easily access the resources they need, a reality they struggled with while raising her.
“Four years ago, I started to put plans in place here for special needs adults,” Christy Porter told NEXTpittsburgh. “When this property became available, I instantly knew it was the one. It’s so large; there are so many services we can provide, not just for the special needs community, but for all families in the area.”
The campus will be comprised of four buildings: the Patricia Jean Administration Building (named for Joey’s mother), a learning center, community center and an apartment building. They cut the ribbon on the first phase June 1.
The learning center — planned to open in January 2021 — will house a basketball court, library, computer lab and daycare dedicated to adults with special needs.
Slated for a December 2021 unveiling, the 75,000-square-foot community center will offer food and beverage options, a mental health clinic, drug and alcohol treatment, a cosmetology school and more. It will also house an employment hub that provides individuals with the opportunity to earn their GED, apply for college and receive job training.
The last phase is a 40-unit apartment building for low-income seniors, disabled veterans and special needs adults. It is expected to open in 2022.
While the entire project will not be completed for quite some time, the Porter is family is already serving the community by donating 300 meals to local children each Saturday.
Once completed, the facility will employ 200-300 people. They will host an on-site job fair on July 17.
Porter spent the first eight years of his career in Pittsburgh, winning a Super Bowl and earning three Pro Bowl selections. His 60 sacks are the third-most in franchise history.
Upon his retirement, Porter turned to coaching and joined the Steelers staff as a defensive assistant after a single season at Colorado State. He was promoted to outside linebackers coach in 2015, a title he held until the conclusion of the 2018 season.
The Porter family currently resides in Wexford. Their son Joey Jr. is entering his sophomore season as a cornerback at Penn State.