After months of anticipation and fundraising, LGBT leaders, elected officials and advocates celebrated the opening of Chicago House's TransLife Center (TLC) July 15.
Stormie Williams, the first resident of the house, cut the ribbon the newly-renovated house during the morning reception.
The house, located on the city's North Side, is believed to the first of its kind. It will house nine transgender people and offer myriad services—like medical care, legal help and employment support.
"This will set a new model and a new standard for other cities," said Chicago House CEO Stan Sloan, addressing a crowd of community leaders and Chicago House employees.
Present at the opening were nationally-recognized transgender figures Lana Wachowski, the film director, and Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Keisling noted trials and triumphs facing trans people and the country at large in recent days, from the Trayvon Martin murder trial verdict to violence facing transgender women of color.
"Things are getting better, but people still need help, and they're going to be able to get help here," said Keisling.