Call it the epitome of what real communities are all about at their very best.

After six months of commitment and hard work, Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs marked the completion of the organization’s first “faith build” in this community with a dedication ceremony Monday evening.

Habitat for Humanity, probably best known for its sweat equity approach to building homes for low-income residents, partnered with Thrivent — a Lutheran nonprofit investment firm — 12 local churches and the De La Cruz Moreno family, the family for whom the house was completed.

Thrivent provided half of the funding for the house as a faith build. The other half of the funding was provided by local church members through local affiliates. Church volunteers and family members added the sweat equity component through time spent on painting, insulation and other work.

Before having a home, Aby De La Cruz Moreno, a single mother of three, her children Tristyn, Eli and Sam and their grandmother Aida Zuniga lived in a two-bedroom apartment. The newly completed house dedicated Monday is a three-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot home in the 600 block of West Graham Avenue.

Though the grandmother, the children, church members, Thrivent members and Habitat for Humanity volunteers were present, Aby De La Cruz Moreno, currently deployed with the U.S. military, was unable to attend the candle lighting ceremony and prayer dedication for the home.

Glennay Jundt, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs, described the missing single mother as “a hard-working single mom who has not one, not two but three jobs to support her family, one of which is defending our country.”

In addition to the housewarming gifts brought by those attending the dedication, a check was provided to pay for the first month of utilities, according to Linda Steensland, vice chair of the Habitat for Humanity Council Bluffs Board.

“We’re just really grateful we’re able to help another family out and place them in a decent, affordable home so they can be in a safe place they can call home for the rest of their lives,” Jundt said.

Habitat for Humanity officials said a second faith build is expected to be started soon.

As we have seen in so many endeavors in Council Bluffs and the surrounding area is the willingness of the people who live here to pitch in — whether it is with their money or through their efforts — to help one another when that help is needed.

It’s an attribute to be proud of ... and to celebrate.

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