The Zone was originally a part of The Community Character Development Coalition (CCDC) that was funded by federal Special Programs of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) grant monies beginning in 2002. SPRANS funded community-based abstinence education programs and an integral part of Norfolk's abstinence program was to support character development in high-rick youth in the community. This occurred primarily in an afterschool program called "The Zone" that was established in 2007. Federal grant funds allowed The Zone to operate fully from 2007 until the spring of 2010. Unfortunately, grant funds were terminated due to an unexpected federal budget cuts.
In the fall of 2010, a small group of past Zone youth formed a leadership group. Their mission was to strengthen their leadership skills and create awareness for the need of an afterschool program for teens in Norfolk. They participated in several community service projects. Some of the projects included preparing and seving Christmas dinner at the Salvation Army, preparing Thanksgiving food boxes for area needy families, Mercy Meals and "May Baskets" for the Sunrise Home, a home for adults recovering from addictions. Youth also spoke at service organizations and church groups to help create awareness and gain funding.
With the help of adult leadership, The Zone become a non-profit organization in the spring of 2011. By the summer of 2012, enough funds were raised through area organizations, churches, and individual donations to re-open the doors in October 2012.