While 44 years later there are only a few who still call him by his high school nickname, the description still applies to Dean. Walls provide protection, structure, and safety. And since this wall can talk, he has quite a story to tell. Dean is a member of Light of Life Rescue Mis- sion’s Street Outreach team and was featured in an 11-minute documentary about the opioid cri- sis and homelessness in Pittsburgh. As someone who was addicted to heroin for 20 years and is now coming up on 20 years clean, Dean has a keen sense about people who are in the midst of using. He was instrumental in helping the documentary production team stay safe while getting in-person interviews in homeless camps and downtown Pittsburgh. Bridging the Gap T he first night of filming took place on a warm Tuesday evening in September. A caravan of three vehicles carrying the pro- ducers, photographer, videographers, and Light of Life staff parked on the berm of a paved road not frequently travelled. It was dark, and at first glance all that could be seen is a tall wooded hillside on the right. The sound of traffic from Interstate 279 roared quietly in the distance, and smells gener- ated from two portable toilets wafted in the air. Dean got out of Light of Life’s outreach van, and a man picked his way down the steep hillside. Although Dean let the camp residents know the crew was coming, the man named Dandy darted his eyes suspiciously between people, agitatedly hurling questions as alcohol reeked through his pores. Dean walked toward him and repeated Dandy’s name a few times. They made small talk for a few minutes before Dean introduced him to the team. The man visibly relaxed and invited everyone up the hill into a tent so they could meet his friends who also reside in the homeless camp. Loud conversations and heartbreaking confes- sions were shared with the film crew, ranging from a son dreading his mother getting a call that he is in a body bag as a result of heroin use, to the lament of a man whose lover died of an overdose right in this camp while he was passed out next to her. The entire time, Dean was watching and listening for ways to connect with these people, to share parts of his story of hope, and to bring them into the mission for help. As one man talks, Dean puts both hands on the man’s shoulders and they laugh, trust being built through this gesture and connection. Another night, the crew pulled up to a 24 WWW.AGRM.ORG JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 As someone who was addicted to heroin for 20 years and is now coming up on 20 years clean, Dean has a keen sense about people who are in the midst of using.