Michael Smith is a dedicated Veteran Community Care Coordination Specialist with Illinois Joining Forces (IJF), where he plays a vital role in assisting Veterans as they reintegrate into society by providing crucial resources and support. Proudly hailing from Detroit, Michael is the second generation in his family to honorably serve in the US Navy, with an eight-year tenure that included service on ships and duty stations like USS Midway CV-41 in Yokusuka, Japan; USS Fresno LST-1182 in San Diego, CA; USS John Young DD 973 in San Diego, CA; and Military Sealift Command in Oakland, CA.
In 2015, Michael made Chicago, IL, his home and found employment with the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. When IJF established its call center at the Lighthouse, Michael was honored to become the inaugural Veteran Community Care Coordination Specialist.
Michael considers himself incredibly blessed to assist Veterans in his current role, driven by personal experiences with the challenges of finding support and resources after leaving the Navy. His empathy is deeply rooted in his own journey, allowing him to relate to every Veteran and family member reaching out to IJF for support and guidance.
Reflecting on his mission, Michael states, "I understand that there is a sea of information out there for a Veteran to navigate, so that is why I feel blessed to be able to help Veterans navigate to the resources that they need." His commitment to guiding fellow Veterans through the maze of available resources showcases his genuine dedication to making a positive impact in their lives.