Ebone Moore did a victory dance as she accepted the keys to her new home in Polkton. It was a muggy August Saturday, but the mother of two young children celebrated despite the heat.
“I’ve been in the Habitat process for five-and-a-half years,” she explained. She had logged 383 hours of work on the tidy brick house – what Habitat for Humanity calls “sweat equity” – and, finally, it had all paid off.
“It was my Mama’s dream to get this house built,” nine-year-old Emmanuel told the crowd gathered on High Street for the dedication. “God bless you all.”
The Moores’ home is part of the ambitious 100-home SECU Mountains-to-the-Sea Challenge, in which Habitat for Humanity NC partners with Habitat affiliates throughout North Carolina, using a $10 million State Employees Credit Union Foundation grant to build a home in each of the state’s 100 counties.
For Ebone Moore, the nearly 10 weeks of labor she contributed to her new home was fueled by her desire to put her son and daughter, Komoria, 7, into a stable situation.
“The only thing I didn’t do with the house was put the roof on,” she said in an interview. “The hardest part was just being persistent.”
With all the work and waiting – she’s expecting to finally move in at the end of August – she learned the value of dogged pursuit of her dream.
“Before, we had been renting” in public housing, said Moore, who works as a nutritional assistant at a local hospital. “I wanted to do something better for the kids in a place where they could play and be safe. Something I could afford.”
“My children absolutely love it,” Moore said. “They took their stuff into their rooms a month ago. They’re very excited. Each has their own room.”
The Moore family’s home is house number 137 for Union-Anson County Habitat, said Mike Reece, the affiliate’s executive director.
“It’s only a house until the family moves in; they make it a home,” he told the crowd. But despite its modest size, the house on High Street boasts energy-efficient designs that keep utility costs low – important for families of modest means – as well as a sprinkler system that helps keep insurance costs down.
Besides giving comfort and hope to a family in need, this Habitat home gives a lift to a group of former Brown Creek Correctional Facility prisoners who used the homebuilding and masonry skills they learned behind bars to help them learn an honorable trade as free men.
Even the men still serving time helped by building the garden shed for this and other Habitat homes – learning skills that can lift them when they are released.
And this is not the end of the good works brought on by the SECU Challenge for the Union-Anson Habitat affiliate: When the mortgage is turned over to the Moore family, SECU immediately grants the affiliate the full amount of the mortgage. That money is going into another house that will make the dream of homeownership a reality for another deserving family in Union County; work begins in February.
For more information contact Bill DuPre, Habitat for Humanity NC,