Meet Michaela Rhone, Community Case Specialist

Katie Ettl

Staff and veteran clients alike cannot believe Michaela Rhone has worked at Swords to Plowshares for just a year and a half. Michaela, a community case specialist at the Veterans Community Center (VCC), has quickly made a positive impact since her first role as an on-call monitor at one of our permanent supportive housing sites. “I’ve enjoyed learning about all the levels of service we provide,” Michaela beams while attending to the VCC front desk. “We’re a multifaceted organization. Every day a new veteran tells me how we’ve helped them. It makes me proud.” Now at the VCC, Michaela welcomes all the veterans who visit us and links them to resources they need.  

Growing up spending time between Sacramento and the Bay Area, Michaela aspired to join the US Navy. She was motivated by her desire to do good and serve others. However, a knee injury shifted her trajectory and Michaela had to look for other job opportunities that fit her life goals. Working for Swords to Plowshares feels close to being a part of the military life she once dreamed of. “I get to see the other side of military service,” Michaela says, “It’s a different one than I imagined, but I’ve become part of the community and I love that the veterans here trust me.”

Michaela shares that she may not be able to relate 100% to everything the veterans we serve experience, but her own lived experiences definitely influence how she empathizes with them. “There’s been times when I didn’t know where my next meal would come from, when I’ve been misunderstood because of who I am- I’ve struggled in some ways like them, and it’s allowed me to lead with humility.”

Michaela’s bright presence encourages veterans every day to build a deeper relationship to Swords to Plowshares. With people like Michaela on the frontline, we continue to strengthen genuine connections with the veterans that utilize our programs.