TROSA: “Each One, Teach One”
Founded in 1994, TROSA, or Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, Inc., is different than most other drug rehabilitation programs. Located in Durham, North Carolina, TROSA offers a comprehensive, two year, individualized, residential substance abuse recovery program, during which residents receive support and employment. By the time they graduate from the program, residents have a personal savings account, a donated and refurbished car, transitional housing, and marketable job skills.
TROSA accepts substance abusers into their program under one condition: they must want to change their lives. The philosophy is based on empowerment and self-help. The program aligns with four principles: a strong work ethic; a good education; strong communication skills; and physical and mental well-being.
TROSA illustrates the impact of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise by bringing together business ideas and skills with a social outcome. Businesses gain skilled employees from TROSA, ultimately benefitting both the business and the individual. TROSA’s commitment to personal success and change does not end when a participant finds employment; rather, TROSA provides a transition program that helps former clients as they leave the program.
TROSA’s motto “Each One, Teach One” turns learning and leadership into skills that are a part of everyday life. TROSA is an example of a community solution that is successfully changing the lives of many people in their community.
Divya Kumaraiah is Policy Assistant to the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation