Though no longer a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Joey Porter and the Porter family are still making major impacts in their community. This weekend, they opened up the Jasmine Nyree Campus in downtown Pittsburgh. The campus is named after their daughter who was born with autism. The Porter family says the community center was initially centered around helping children and adults with special needs, but will also look to help the entire community.
“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,” co-founder Christy Porter told Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley.
Christy and Joey Porter bought the Holy Innocent Parish in 2019 and turned it into the Jasmine Nyree campus. According to their website, their aim is to “address multiple needs in the community including residential services, recreational, educational, and more.”
In April of this year, the center announced they were partnering up with Pittsburgh schools to create an out-of-school program for the region. Its website wrote:
“Jasmine Nyree Homes, Inc. will partner with Langley K-8 and professionals from around the city to assemble teams to develop long-term outcome-oriented programming. Together we will significantly improve literacy and mathematics proficiency while further reducing the achievement gap through developing creative leadership and decision-making skills opportunities.”
Other programs the center will offer is a grocery pickup and a day program for adults with special needs.
Current and former Steelers attended the grand opening this weekend. Mike Tomlin and Jerome Bettis were at least two in attendance, with Tomlin sending out this tweet and group photo.
The center will also place an emphasis on sports as an outlet for those who attend, and it’ll come with some familiar names. There’s the Jerome Bettis Gym and Dan Rooney Basketball Court. Bettis spoke to Varley about the center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and all it intends to do for the city.
“The goal is to support and create opportunities that might not otherwise be possible,” he said. “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.”
Porter was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He spent eight years for the team, becoming their best pass rusher, totaling 60 sacks for the black and gold. He spent five more years in the NFL, putting up another 38 sacks, including a career-high 17.5 of them in 2008 with the Miami Dolphins. In his post-playing career, Porter got into coaching and was on the Steelers’ staff from 2014-2018, spending the last four years as the team’s outside linebackers coach.
If you would like to learn more about the Jasmine Nyree Campus, click the link here.