Trans Day of Visibility: Eva's Story

Outreach Client Finds Stability and Friendship at MSV

Eva Skye working with a guest instructor at the Eating for Life program in February 2020.

Connecting Communities | April 2021

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility, and Marillac St. Vincent Family Services Celebrates the trans and gender diverse members of our community, especially during this time when their civil rights and lives are under threat in the United States and around the world. Despite the ongoing struggle for survival, equality, and representation, trans individuals are building community and inspiring us in big ways each day.

Eva Skye has been working with our Community Outreach Services case managers for years, most recently joining the Eating for Life nutrition education program. “As a vegan, I was looking for smart ways to make my monthly grocery budget stretch and add some recipes to my cooking repertoire,” Eva explained.

Eva grew up in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, later moving to the Lakeview area, where she could find a welcoming community of friends and feel safe from ongoing harassment she endured as a trans woman. She worked as a personal fitness trainer and part-time roofer, but debilitating epilepsy forced her into early retirement and in need of support, “I had to stop driving; I couldn’t climb ladders; I had to give everything up.”

Ever-resourceful, Eva connected with case managers from various organizations to secure housing, medical coverage, and nutrition benefits, describing the process by sharing, “…navigating all the different systems and applications for services can be a nightmare!” Eva partnered with the Outreach office at St. Vincent de Paul Center to secure SNAP benefits and utility assistance through LIHEAP to keep her monthly expenses down.

“They really treat you like you are family at MSV,” said Eva, adding, “it’s the human touch that’s so important; they are life-savers!” MSV is proud to be part of Eva’s journey, and we honor her and all our trans neighbors in Chicago and around the world today!

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