NFL draft prospect, Bay Area native Najee Harris visits homeless shelter where he once lived

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Late Thursday afternoon, for a brief few minutes, one of the top NFL prospects, Najee Harris stopped by the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) shelter in Richmond, to greet residents and staff as they prepared to watch the much-anticipated draft.

"That little time we had helped my family out to find another place to stay so just giving back to communities and giving back to places like this means a lot to me," explained Harris who was raised in the East Bay.

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What many don't realize is that in 2010 when Harris was only 12 years old, he and his family, four siblings and his parents, spent time at the shelter.

"Just to see him as a grown man with this kind of opportunity for him today and to know that he lived in this shelter among many other places their family had to move around and lives as a homeless man just speaks to the anything is possible," said Kathleen Sullivan, executive director of the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program.

More recently, Harris and his mother Tianna Hicks, stopped by the shelter which has served as an inspiration for Harris who has dedicated part of his young life toward helping the homeless.

Before he played for Alabama, Harris weight trained with Marcus Malu who also served as a mentor.

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We interviewed Malu a few years ago, shortly after Harris was named the top college recruit in the country.

"What he's gone through and what he's lived through, for two or three hours he doesn't have to worry about that, he just lets everything out and leaves it on the field," said Malu.

While he played for the Alabama Crimson Tide as a running back, Harris was known for hurdling over his opponents. His path from Antioch High to Alabama and now to the NFL are proof that Harris never allowed his family's situation to dictate his future.

To find out more about GRIP and how to donate to the program click here.
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