syracuse side hustles

E10: Saint Michael

Michael DeSalvo, hairdresser and salon owner, runs Friends of Dorothy House, a safe space that provides hospice care to those with HIV, and is restoring a home for immigrant farm workers and their families.
Michael DeSalvo

Sometimes we move past them, our mentors. When I mess up or something, they are going to be like, “I’ve outgrown you.” Good! Keep growing, keep moving, make it better!


Michael DeSalvo



Side Hustle:

Activist, Friends of Dorothy House



Who is your hustle hero?

My dad, who passed away in 1986. He did so much for so many and worked very hard. He was active in church and his community in many ways — from environmental issues to the works of mercy.

Where do you get the resources to support Dorothy House guests?

We have not taken government money or many grants. We have a monthly supper and are funded through private donations. I work to support the house also. Hospice of Central New York and other health agencies have helped with equipment.

Where have you found support in Syracuse for your side hustle?

Support for our dinners comes from many different organizations — Rarely Done Productions has done plays to support us, and Armory Square Players does an annual event of readings.

What's a Syracuse event not to miss?

The event not to miss besides our dinners is the Philanthropic Foodie Event.

Michael DeSalvo
Michael DeSalvo believes that education plays an important role in his activism and uses his platform to educate the community on issues that matter to him — HIV/AIDS, end-of-life care, racism, and immigration, to name a few. Photo by Ellie Coggins.

What is a quote you live by?

“My worst day is someone else's best.” And: “Love one another and do the works of mercy!”

Connect with DeSalvo

On Facebook or at Hairanoia