Saturday was the finish line for the Riveras and 10 other families who helped build their new homes alongside dozens of volunteers through Habitat for Humanity.
The six Riveras will leave their two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment for the modern, three-bedroom town house, complete with 1 1/2 bathrooms, living room, laundry room and subterranean parking.
Families begin moving into the first homes they've ever owned this week.
"My dad is so hardworking . . . and he had the opportunity to work toward something and see a physical manifestation of it," said Marlene Rivera. "Seeing him waking up in the morning, putting in his hours [on the town house], come home for two seconds and get into uniform to go to work until 11 p.m. — that's what he did in between dropping off the girls at school."
For his part, Noel Rivera, Marlene's father, said all the work has been about bettering his family. Noel and Sandra Rivera emigrated in 1979 from war-torn Nicaragua. They bounced around, and since 1986, they've lived in Glendale and ushered their children through local schools.