News Local/State

Nation’s First Transgender Housing Center Opens in Chicago


The first housing facility in the nation to prove assistance to transgender people recently opened in Chicago.

The Rev. Stan Sloan sat in the freshly designed living room of the new TransLife Center. As the CEO of Chicago House, he spent years in this home, running it as an  AIDS hospice.

“These beautiful wooden floors were covered with linoleum because we had IV drips and blood and everything that came with AIDS in the early days,” Sloan said.

Sloan said thousands of gay men died with dignity in this home. Now he hopes it will help transgender people live with dignity. The center will provide housing, medical services, legal services, and employment training with many staff coming from the transgender community.

“It’s such an honor that now it’s going to be dedicated to trans people, helping trans people,” said Mara Keisling, who founded the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Lana Wachowski attended the opening. She said she has observed transgender homelessness in her neighborhood. Wachowski said that this center recognizes that family extends beyond just our blood and kin.

“Often LGBT people, especially the T’s, are in need of family,” she said. 

Stormie Williams cut the ribbon for the opening. She will be one of the first residents and has already found employment with help from the staff.

“I know there are more things to come,” Williams said.