Helen’s dream of a secure home has come true
Helen Reilly and her four beautiful children, Kamori (9), twins Kordell and Karina (7), and London (1) are happily settled at 52 W. Basin Street in Norristown. But home wasn’t always like this.
Growing up in an Air Force family, Helen moved from city to city—always the ‘new kid’ in the class. She decided that when she started her own family, they would have a different experience: a comfortable home where her kids could just ‘be kids.’
Helen’s dream has finally come true. That’s thanks to her hard work and dedication in the Home Buyer program, and the generosity of Lenny Bazemore and the Bazemore Family Foundation.
52 West Basin: a house full of memories
Successful artist and real estate investor Lenny Bazemore grew up on West Basin Street. Across the street was number 52 – the home of his childhood best friend, Curt and his safe haven where Curt’s parents gave him advice that shaped him as a man.
When his parents died, Curt asked Lenny to buy the house. Lenny agreed, thinking that he would flip it. “But something didn’t feel ‘right,’” Lenny said. Instead, he donated the property to Habitat, along with $50,000 for renovations. “I want children to have wonderful memories there, like I did.”
Those children are Helen’s. Ironically, the father of Helen’s three oldest grew up just doors away from Lenny. Tragically, the young man was killed several years ago.
A neighborhood, a block, a family
“For my kids, this is coming home to a block that is like family,” says Helen. “The people here knew my children’s father and I feel like they’ll watch over us.
“I’m very thankful for Habitat to make it affordable for me to provide for my family. Eventually, down the road, I’d like to pay it forward if I can.”
In Habitat’s Home Buyer program, Helen worked diligently to earn her sweat equity hours and also graduated from the Almost Home financial empowerment program where her classmates fondly nicknamed her ‘Quiet.’
Behind Helen’s quiet nature is an incredible strength and resilience. In the face of tragedy, she has done everything in her power to provide for, and protect her children.
For months, Helen’s kids asked her every day, “Can we move in yet?’ Finally, she was able to say, ‘Yes!’