1994: Founding TROSA TROSA History

TROSA was founded in 1994 with Kevin McDonald at the helm and just $18,000 in the bank. Durham County Commissioners showed their support by voting unanimously to lease the Old North Durham Elementary School to TROSA for $1 per year and the Durham Chamber of Commerce provided a grant to help start our program. In order to provide vocational training and generate additional revenue, Kevin began a potato peeling social enterprise and later a moving service.

During the next two decades, TROSA grew by every measure: the number of residents, facilities, programs, staff, and social enterprise success. The facilities expanded to include dedicated spaces for commercial operations and, with the purchase of a 13-acre site (formerly the Lakewood Dairy, and now our central campus), spaces for administrative, medical, and intake offices.

We received our state license as a therapeutic community and began collaborating with Duke University Medical Center to accept residents with co-occurring mental illness diagnoses. As TROSA grew, we were able to add more specialized programs such as therapies for women and individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as continuing care services for graduates including relapse prevention groups; transportation to/from work or school; and safe, stable housing.

2010: William Mack, Sr. Center (TROSA Gymnasium and Classrooms) Campus Expansion Highlights

In 2010, we completed construction of the William Mack, Sr. Center (named in honor of the TROSA graduate and staff member who started TROSA’s brick crew in our construction department). This 12,500 sq. ft. facility provides additional classroom and recreation space, exercise equipment and room for all residents to gather for community events like quarterly graduations and holiday parties.

2012: Dorms on TROSA Campus Campus Expansion Highlight

In 2012, we completed construction of two 75-person dormitories on our main Durham campus, providing both logistical and therapeutic benefits. TROSA serves a daily average of more than 400 men and women. Our T-West location houses residents at many program stages, including senior residents who are graduates that serve as on-campus mentors and leaders.

2013: TROSA Thrift Store Campus Expansion Highlight

In addition to growing our campus, TROSA has gained recognition for our award-winning social enterprises. TROSA Thrift and Frame Store, opened in 2013, has quickly become a great success and customer favorite. TROSA opened a new thrift store location in late 2014, with over 100,000 square feet of gently-used furniture, clothing, housewares, electronics, and more.

2017: TROSA Comprehensive Care Center Campus Expansion Highlight

On November 1, 2017 TROSA celebrated the opening of our TROSA Comprehensive Care Center, which provides a centralized space for our intake, medical, and counseling departments on our main campus. To read more about this important project for TROSA, click here. You can view a video tour of the Care Center here

2020 TROSA-East (T-East) Campus Expansion Highlight

Our TROSA East Campus (T-East) in Durham will provide over 55,000 square feet of new space for housing, classes, recreation, and meetings for our Women’s Program and for our TROSA Graduates. In December 2020, we completed the first phase of this multi-year campus expansion project.

2022: TROSA Triad Campus Expansion Highlight

Having a centralized campus has helped TROSA become a nationally-recognized long-term recovery program. Throughout North Carolina and across the nation there is an increasing need for effective, affordable treatment for substance use disorders. TROSA is currently planning for scaling its success with a satellite campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Over 9,000 men and women have walked onto our campus in search of a better life. You can meet some of our graduates by clicking here.