Businessman's generous donation gives Montco family new home

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- A Montgomery County family is a step closer to the American dream - they now have a home to call their own.

But it all started with a generous donation and the kind heart of a businessman who the family met for the very first time Friday.

Action News was there as excited little ones checked out their bedrooms for the first time.

Dedication Day at Habitat for Humanity's latest project.

And Helen Reilly got the keys.

"They're already telling me what colors they want their walls," said Reilly. "It was hard to afford anything that was big enough for me and the kids, but Habitat made it possible."

And so did real estate investor Lenny Bazemore, who donated the home to Habitat along with $50,000.

He grew up in poverty across West Basin Street and found food and comfort in his friend's home.

"When I didn't have enough to eat at my house, I came here. They fed me. They took very good care of me," said Bazemore, real estate investor.

Fast forward 30 years, Bazemore's same friend asked him to buy the house, which had fallen into disrepair.

"I came up to demo the property, turn it, flip it for a profit, and I felt very uncomfortable doing that, very uncomfortable," said Bazemore.

"We take the worst houses in the neighborhood and we turn them into some of the best homes in the neighborhood," said Marianne Lynch, Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County.

So Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County did just that.

Their 62nd home.

Reilly will pay for it with a 0 percent mortgage.

"For the family itself, it's going to provide stability as those children grow up, and also it's going to provide some wealth for her to be able to allow her children to go to college," said Lynch.

But there's a strange twist to this story. It turns out the children's late father grew up across the street in a red house next to Lenny Bazemore's childhood home.

Bazemore says it's more than coincidence.

"We were friends. Full circle. That's the way the Lord works," said Bazemore.
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