Former Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter and his wife Christy celebrated the grand opening of the Jasmine Nyree Campus on Saturday, a 180,000 square foot facility that will assist Pittsburgh adults with developmental issues.
The campus is named for their daughter Jasmine, who herself has autism, and also provide support to the Sheraden community where it is located through employment opportunities and other resources.
Not only will the complex offer a day program for adults with special needs, but it will also provide employment placement, medical services, a food court, after school programs for area kids and a learning center, part of a partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools.
For Joey, it is special to give back to the city and community that has become home to he and his family since the Steelers drafted him in 1999.
“We have been doing this for a while now,” Joey Porter told Steelers.com. “To open up a new campus, in Pittsburgh, and bring awareness to what is needed, is special. This is home for us. My kids graduated from high school here. There is no better place to do it. To be in the position to give back, help people who can’t help themselves, and do this for my daughter Jasmine, it comes full circle.”
While the Porters began with a mission to assists Pittsburgh’s underserved special needs community, they quickly realized they wanted to do more to help the Sheraden neighborhood at large as well.
“Our original goal was to help the special needs adult population, but that community is so underserved we decided that with our campus being so large we are able to open it up and encompass the entire community,” Christy Porter told Steelers.com. “That was our primary reason for selecting Sheraden because it is so underserved. That community needed more of a boost. Not just in services, but employment as well. We are looking to employ 300 people. That entire community has a chance to be changed. And it being so close to the city, it made sense to select it.”
The Porters were joined at the grand opening celebration by friends and family, as well as some of Joey’s former teammates and coaches, including Jerome Bettis and Mike Tomlin.
“What they are doing is for the community,” Bettis told Steelers.com. “The goal is to support and create opportunities that might not otherwise be possible. I am so impressed with what everything Joey and Christy have done so far and what their commitment is. It means the world they are doing this because of their daughter, and instead of just dealing with what she is going through, they are helping the needs of just more than themselves. That is a totally selfless thing to do.”
Amazing work is being done by Joey and Christy Porter at the Jasmine Nyree Campus in Pittsburgh. Was honored to be at their grand opening today to see it all first hand. pic.twitter.com/eBD1oyZB6z— Mike Tomlin (@CoachTomlin) June 5, 2021
The learning center portion of the property also houses the Jerome Bettis Gym and the Dan Rooney Basketball Court.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be a part of it, to have the gym in my name. It means the world to me that they would even think to put my name on that,” Bettis told Steelers.com. “It’s special to me. And to have the Dan Rooney Basketball Court is amazing because of what he stood for, who he was as a man, a father.”