Busta’s Person of the Week: Lamont Joe

Lamont Joe

Busta’s Person of the Week: Lamont Joe
May 02
08:46 2019

By Busta Brown

Lamont Joe was raised by his mom, who was addicted to drugs; his father was an addict as well. Both parents gave their blessings to Lamont to share this information. Although his mom was an addict, he said he felt empty without her. “It was kinda confusing, because when she wasn’t around, I didn’t have anyone to give me love and companionship. She was an addict, but she loved me, and knew it.”

Lamont said he bounced around from family to family. “My brother and I came up with a game called “Pick a Relative,” and we picked my aunt.”

I realized how hurt and lost he and his brother must have felt, to think of such a game. He stayed with her during 5th and 6th grades. He moved back home with his mother, but unfortunately, she was still on and off drugs. “I was 14 when she got in a car accident and was sent away for treatment. When she got out, she stayed clean and moved us to a better neighborhood, but I was already in too deep selling drugs.”

Between his parents and neighborhood, becoming a drug dealer was all he knew. Joe said he wasn’t afraid of going to prison because he had plenty of friends there. He also loved the attention and instant gratification.

There was a bright spot during these dark days: school. Although he was selling drugs and running the streets, he was a great student. “The aunt I stayed with was a teacher and my family was really into education, so even though I was selling drugs, I still stayed in school.” He loved the attention and money from selling drugs, yet he also received a lot of attention from his peers for excelling academically. That was healthy attention.

When Lamont Joe graduated from high school, that feeling was beyond the vanity of street credibility, it was spiritual. “After graduating, I was still selling and I got busted several times. I did time, got out and went back to selling. One morning I woke up and thought about what would happen if I got a 5th charge and the pain I was putting my mom and dad through. I decided to make a change.” He enrolled in a human service program at Forsyth Tech. After overcoming a few academic obstacles and giving up the party life, things began moving forward. “After Forsyth Tech, I transferred to Gardner-Webb to get my bachelor’s degree in Human Services. My girlfriend told me I had too much going for me to continue selling drugs and I noticed how free I felt. I wasn’t stressed about getting caught. I was enjoying my new life, so I stopped selling.”

Lamont said to avoid selling drugs, he went back to work at Wendy’s. Shortly after, he made a connection with a childhood friend and began working at a group home. “It didn’t happen right away. I had to stay patient. I refused to go back to the streets. God was doing too much for me to let him and my parents down. A friend saw my Facebook post and noticed how I changed my life for the better and gave me the number to a friend of ours that owned some group homes. I eventually saw him at the mall and told him what I was trying to do and I needed a chance, but he didn’t have any openings at the time. I stayed strong and prayed. I kept checking in with him and eventually I got a job.”

Lamont made lots of connections while attending Forsyth Tech, one of which was a young man that worked as a substance abuse counselor at Path of Hope, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Lexington. He told Lamont to register with the State Board and few other things. “He had me come to his office and showed me what to do.” That led to a job with Path of Hope. But he still needed the spirit of patience.

“I didn’t start as a counselor. I started off cleaning up, taking clients to appointments, and cooking. God was working, Busta. The guy that told me about the position moved on. The owner, Angie Banther, said ‘I know you’re registered with the board. Since he’s moving on, do you want to take his position?’”

Joe said he didn’t want to be a substance abuse counselor. “God had that destiny for me, because I didn’t choose it, it fell into my lap. Now that I’m in it, I know I was made for this.”

Lamont Joe has tattoos from head to toe and gold grills as well. “When my clients see me, they see themselves. They’re always excited when they walk into my office and see me. I don’t have to give them words of advice, because they can see that I lived their life. My life now is an inspiration that they will beat their addiction and live their dreams as well.”

Joe said he avoids his old friends so that he does not get tempted to fall back into that life. His strength has gained their respect and they still call him for advice. “Busta, when I was going through that life, I was lost and hopeless, so I give them strength. I stay to myself. I go to work, work out and come home.”  

Along with God, his parents are his strength. His mother has been clean for 28 years and his father for 30. “My parents are my heroes. My dad retied from Piedmont Natural Gas and now volunteers at Samaritan Ministries. They are examples that you can get your life together.”

He’s working on his master’s degree to further his career in counseling. “In five years I will become an executive director for a substance abuse center. I plan to continue changing lives forever.”

To contact with Lamont Joe, you can reach him at Path of Hope, Inc., 336-248-8914, or stop by at 1675 E. Center St. in Lexington.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors