Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris joined local leaders, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, in his native Bay Area on Friday to advocate for the homeless in his home state.
Harris, who experienced homelessness himself growing up in Northern California, has been an advocate for those without a stable home and helped those in need even before he became a Steeler.
On the night he was selected by Pittsburgh, Harris hosted a draft party for the children at a homeless shelter he once relied upon growing up.
“We were evicted numerous times, and had to stay in homeless shelters, friends’ houses, cars,” Harris said in the press conference. “But as a family we stuck together and made it through those tough times. Now I’m in a position to help people who were once in my shoes.”
WATCH:@steelers RB & #BayArea native @ohthatsNajee22 joins @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom and other leaders to highlight the state’s action to tackle homelessness. Watch the livestream on #CBSNBayArea here: https://t.co/e7agPbGl0i pic.twitter.com/fyPGoXboKg— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) June 25, 2021
For Harris, addressing homelessness is all about helping one another and everyone playing their role to find solutions.
“California is our people, and we are God’s people,” Harris said via KRON-TV. “At the end of the day, (God is going to care about) what we’ve done to help the people. If we can do everything we can to help the people of California, and just anywhere in the world, and just play a part.”
Newsom also made a fairly large announcement during the press conference, vowing that the state will invest $5 billion towards covering the unpaid rent of individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individuals who qualify will have their unpaid rent covered dating all the way back to April 2020.
.@CAgovernor @GavinNewsom announces #California is investing $5B to cover all unpaid rent for lower income residents who struggled during the pandemic. Watch more on #CBSNBayArea here: https://t.co/GTqpAzv4Wb. pic.twitter.com/mmVudkDPCl— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) June 25, 2021