ELIZABETH, NJ - Two Union County High School basketball powerhouses are set to clash for a good cause Thursday, February 6, at the annual 26th Annual Hoops to End Homelessness Charity Basketball Game beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Dunn Sports Center on Pearl Street in Elizabeth.

The Elizabeth High School Basketball junior and varsity teams will face their top ranked Roselle Catholic counterparts for what is promising to be an exciting game to benefit the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, the nonprofit established 38 years ago to serve the needs of the homeless and the near homeless.

“We look forward to this game every year because it brings the community together to fight an issue that affects all of us, homelessness,” said Linda Flores-Tober, ECHH’s executive director. “The game is a fun event that everyone can share while calling attention to the need to end this critical problem that touches every community regardless of how affluent a town may be.”

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It’s a battle the Coalition has been fighting for more than three decades. During that time, it has prevented homelessness for more than 15,000 households and found emergency shelter for more than 10,000 families, but it is a problem that continues to grow. In 2019 alone, the ECHH helped more than 1,000 families throughout Union County to find affordable housing.

The event benefits the Elizabeth Coalition’s programs, in particular its Operation Warm Heart Program, which is a winter shelter program for the chronically homeless. Operation Warm Heart is only one of the Coalition’s programs focused on combating homelessness and near homelessness. The non-profit operates Homeless Prevention and Emergency shelter, Hospitality Houses that have housed 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.

As part of this fundraiser, the Coalition is collecting warm clothing items such as gloves, mittens, hats, socks, and scarves. Every student who donates an item will receive free admission. Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $5 for youths ($3 if bought in advance or with valid student ID) and may be purchased online at theelizabethcoalition.eventbrite.com, or at the door the day of the fundraiser. For more information or to buy tickets, contact the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, 118 Division St, Elizabeth, NJ 07201;
908-355-2060, ext. 202.

“Each year, the Coalition joins with our neighbors to combat the threat of homelessness that looms over so many vulnerable families,” said Flores-Tober. “Hoops to End Homelessness is a reminder to all of us that homelessness is ever present, but, if we make it our goal, together will can end it.” 

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