An Air Force veteran lifts up those struggling with addiction and homelessness through the nonprofit he founded

Portrait of Michael DiMaio '23
Photo: Peter Olson for Independence Blue Cross Foundation | Someone You Know®
“Once you figure out what your ‘why’ is, you can only grow from there.” 

— Michael DiMaio ’23

Michael DiMaio ’23 overcame many personal challenges before he found his “why.” A veteran of the US Air Force, Michael spent 23 years battling opioid use disorder before getting sober in 2013 and transferring to Villanova’s College of Professional Studies with his associate’s degree in 2020 at the age of 50. His goal: to use his experiences to benefit others.

In October 2020, Michael launched The Infinite Mission, an organization dedicated to empowering individuals, including veterans, who struggle with homelessness and substance abuse. "Gratitude is an action word," Michael says. “Giving back to the community is part of making my amends."

A Public Service and Administration major, Michael credits a Nonprofit Management class he took with Wesley Proctor, EdD, assistant teaching professor, as the catalyst that ultimately inspired him to establish his own nonprofit.

The Infinite Mission has partnered with Mother of Mercy House in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood to host more than a dozen outreach events and, even amid COVID restrictions, has found ways to provide thousands of people in need with free water, fruit, healthy foods, clothing, wound care, hygiene items and emergency overdose prevention medication.