Lamontry Lott, graduate of El Centro College’s Paramedic Program and current Dallas Fire-Rescue driver and paramedic, features in a national campaign that aims to change perceptions about America’s public housing.
ReThink: Why Housing Matters is a campaign created by Housing Authority Insurance, Inc. to raise “awareness for, and inspire people to learn about, public housing,” according to ReThinkhousing.org (http://www.rethinkhousing.org/about). About 63% of Americans do not want to live near public housing, reports a recent ReThink survey (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/not-in-my-backyard-rethink-urges...).
Lott’s story, among several others, is meant to change perceptions that lead to such opposition. A brief bio of Lott’s success, from public housing tenant to paramedic and fire truck driver, features on ReThink’s website under “Supports Families,” which is one of four positive outcomes of successful public housing, the organization claims.
According to ReThink’s bio of him, Lott dropped out of high school but urged by mentors to get a GED. He wanted to apply to the Dallas Fire Department, so he enrolled at Brookhaven and El Centro colleges to earn the 45 required hours. “Public housing was the stepping stone,” the website reports, for Lott’s rise in the fire department, where he is now “studying to become a lieutenant” (http://www.rethinkhousing.org/supports-families).
Lott is also featured as a student success story on The Dallas County Community College District’s website. Here, Lott says, “I’ve always had a passion for social services and work in the community. Once I married and had a family, I also wanted a better career and a stable job where I could both provide for my family and give back to the community" (https://www.dcccd.edu/CD/DCC/Law/FireProtect/default/Pages/LLott.aspx).
In 2013, singer Jewel, who lived homeless for a year before her first album was released, signed on as ReThink’s spokesperson. About her homelessness, Jewel told Parade magazine in August, “I had people treat me like I was nothing, like I didn’t matter, but there were a few people that didn’t treat me that way. They made me feel like I was still important, like I was still a part of society, and I still mattered. I’ve been able to go on and do great things, and the same is true for a lot of people in public housing” (http://parade.condenast.com/61396/erinhill/jewel-people-treated-me-like-...).