NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A man who grew up in Norristown invested some money to buy a house in his old neighborhood. He could have flipped it. Instead, he’s giving it away to a good cause. The man who is giving this generous gift was inspired by the memory of the family that once lived there.
Lenny Bazemore grew up on West Basin Street in Norristown, a tight-knit block where everyone knew each other.
“I had a beautiful childhood, lots of friends,” Lenny said.
Lenny’s best childhood friend, Curt Henning, lived in a brick rowhome right across the street. Now Lenny is a real estate investor, an artist, and a gallery owner. He never lost touch with Curt or Curt’s parents, who lived here until they died.
“They just recently passed away, so it’s a little emotional,” Lenny said.
At Curt’s request, Lenny bought the house. He planned to flip it. But there were so many memories here… Lenny couldn’t bring himself to start tearing it up.
It felt right to give it as a gift to Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County. Lenny also donated $50,000 for rehab. Marianne Lynch is executive director.
“We will make it so that it is basically new from the inside out,” Marianne said.
A family as large as five can live here. The family, not yet chosen, will put in 200 hours of sweat equity and pay a no-interest mortgage back to Habitat.
“To know there was such love in this house and that it was such a great place for kids to grow up, I’m shaking,” Marianne said. “I can’t wait for June when the family gets keys.”
This will be the 34th house in Norristown Habitat of Humanity Montgomery County has given. For more information, visit: www.habitatmontco.org.