“I’m so grateful for my brand new life.” Christopher graduated from TROSA’s multi-year treatment program in 2021. Today he is thriving and employed by a local mental health and substance use crisis response center. Recently named “Employee of the Month” at his job, Christopher is recognized for his dedication to recovery and to the clients he serves.

As a peer-driven program, TROSA residents learn from each other. Being part of a supportive recovery community helped give Christopher the tools he needed for post-program success. “At my job today, I see myself in the individuals who come to the crisis center,” he shares. “I remember how encouraging, patient, inspirational, and hospitable people were towards me when I needed help, and I strive to be that same helpful presence for others. I meet people where they are and try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. I support them in whatever next step they may want to take. I can share with people that I’ve ‘been there’ myself.”

Christopher currently receives TROSA’s continuing care services for graduates. TROSA graduates are eligible to receive safe, stable housing and reliable transportation to and from their places of employment for up to one year. This allows graduates the time and space to continue practicing life skills in a supportive and safe environment while saving earnings and remaining employed. The result is healthier, successful TROSA graduates who are contributing to their community and serving as role models for current residents.

“Thanks to TROSA’s transitional housing, my future is bright. Through TROSA’s graduate housing I am able to practice paying bills on time, demonstrate responsibility, and manage my finances. I know that will lead to even better prospects for my future. I can be open to opportunities and can make decisions that will work best for me and my recovery.”

TROSA empowered Christopher to make the changes he needed to live a better life.

TROSA graduate Christopher stands outside TROSA graduate apartment housing

Photo above: TROSA graduate Christopher stands outside graduate apartment housing

“Before my drug use, I had all I wanted in my life. I was raised in a supportive home by a family of business owners and educators. I had the privilege of obtaining an outstanding college education and a BSBA in Finance. I was happy and engaged to be married. My fiancé and I were successful. By all accounts, I had all I could want in life and the best was yet to come. My substance use began at age 34 and I soon lost everything due to drugs and alcohol. Addiction can happen to anyone.

“I knew I needed help. I was just done. I was tired of missing-out on life. I went to a detox facility and then learned about TROSA.”

Christopher started TROSA’s program in July 2019.

“I needed a long-term program and I’m thankful I found TROSA at the right time. The opportunities are amazing. It’s up to us–the residents and graduates–on what we want to get out of the program. There are many rewards to TROSA.

“I learned a lot from classes at TROSA that focused on wellness and relapse prevention. I still refer to the materials from those classes as a graduate…different breathing exercises and how to stay mindful if I’m having a challenging moment. It’s been very helpful to know how to channel my energy back into my recovery.”

Every TROSA resident participates in community assignments throughout their program. Community assignments play a key therapeutic role, giving residents the opportunity to learn and practice new vocational and life skills; set personal and professional goals; and work on behaviors and thought patterns they may want to change in a safe and supportive environment with peers in recovery. Christopher’s community assignments included the TROSA Thrift Store, the In-Kind department, and the Admissions department.

“I had a lot of people who helped me at TROSA throughout my program. One of my mentors is TROSA In-Kind Senior Manager Mike McLawhorn. He has such a keen eye for details and opportunities. Mike showed me that people in recovery can do truly special things. I learned a lot from him and I’m grateful for him.

“At TROSA’s Admissions department, I answered the phone calls of people who had questions about TROSA and wanted to get more information for themselves or their family members. I heard my own family in the voices on the other side of the phone. It was a humbling and important experience to be able to share with people that I’m in recovery.”

Today Christopher is happy, healthy, and focused on his goals.

“I’m enjoying getting to know myself in recovery. I like who I am and I’ve got so much I want to do.”