ELIZABETH, NJ – The 24th Annual Hoops to End Homelessness was another night of exciting basketball when six local teams paired off to compete to benefit the Elizabeth Coalition’s programs, in particular, its Operation Warm Heart Program, a winter shelter program for the chronically homeless.
The event took place Feb. 3 at the Dunn Sports Center on Pearl Street. Two teams of Union County Sheriff’s Officers were equally matched for a final score of 36 to 34. Elizabeth High School Lady Minutemen were victorious over Newark’s North 13th Technical School 28 to 7, Elizabeth High School Minutemen lost to their neighbors St. Mary’s High School, 75 to 51.
“The Coalition thanks, everyone who made the event a success: the players, the Elizabeth High School band and cheerleaders, the Veterans’ Color Guard, volunteers, and our donors who sponsored over 200 children to attend for free,” said the Coalition’s executive director, Linda Flores-Tober. “Hoops is a wonderful community event, bringing everyone together to fight homelessness and to make a difference. Operation Warm Heart receives no federal funding, so we really need to raise money for this vital program that brings in the street-bound homeless who may have nowhere else to turn during the coldest time of the year.”
The Coalition also thanked their supporters who made Hoops to End Homelessness a success: ILA Local 1235, Infineum, Union County Sheriff Peter Corvelli, Laundry Warehouse, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Garden State Community Bank, Wakefern Food Corporation, The Housing Authority for the City of Elizabeth, and PSE&G.
Operation Warm Heart is only one of the Coalition’s programs focused on combating homelessness. The non-profit operates Homelessness Prevention and emergency shelter, "Hospitality Houses" a transitional housing program that has sheltered more than 150 working families, ESL and Community Education classes, and Bernice’s Place, an after-school and summer program for homeless and near homeless children, the only one of its kind in the state.