Carnegie Mellon University

Did you know that 115 people die in the US every day as the result of an opioid overdose? In Allegheny County alone (where CMU is located) 735 people died from an overdose in 2017. Overall, Pennsylvania has the 4th highest overdose rate in the country.

These statistics are driving CMU’s partnership with the Light of Life Rescue Mission to host a week-long multi-media immersive art installation on campus Oct 1st-5th from 11am-7pm to raise awareness about the opioid crisis and its grip on our city. The installation opens to the Carnegie Mellon community on the 1st and then to the broader Pittsburgh community the 2nd through the 5th. The installation shares a name with its’ related short documentary, Eye of the Needle, filmed here in Pittsburgh by Flying Scooter Productions, to draw attention to the opioid epidemic and its intersection with homelessness in the city. Join us at these events to learn more and to take action in the fight against this crisis in our community.


Art Installationfacebook logo
Mon Oct 1st through Fri Oct 5th
11am-7pm in the tent by The Fence, located along the sidewalk leading from the Cohon Center to Doherty Hall.

Recommended parking for installation attendees: East Campus Garage (map code EC)

Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion facebook logo
Mon Oct 1st
Simmons Auditorium A in the new Tepper building
We recommend attendees enter the Tepper building at the Coulter Welcome Center, located on Forbes Avenue directly across from Hamburg Hall.

Recommended parking for Documentary Screening attendees: Morewood Lot (map code MO)

Light refreshments at 7pm. At 7:30pm the documentary screening and panel discussion begins. Emceed by Kate Wadsworth, Light of Life, Asst Director of Development, featured panelists include:

  • Dean Robinson, Light of Life Rescue Mission Street Outreach (featured in the documentary)
  • Jennifer Schlieper, Flying Scooter Productions and documentary director & producer
  • Courtney Gumpf, Flying Scooter Productions and documentary producer
  • Phil Adkins, videographer
  • Emmai Alaquiva, photographe, Emmy Award-Winner
  • Beth Kotarski, CMU, Executive Director of University Health Services
  • Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigative reporter/editor

Service Project
Wed, Oct 3rd
Connan Room
Help assemble toiletry kits for their clients and hear from Light of Life staff about the depth and breadth of their work to support men and women struggling with homelessness and/or addiction.


Installation Volunteers
CMU community members are needed to staff the installation Mon, Oct 1st through Fri, Oct 5th 11am -7pm daily: greet visitors, share resources, and answer general questions.
Sign-up to staff the installation.

Load-In Volunteers
A small group of CMU volunteers who are willing to do some lifting and don’t mind getting dirty will have the opportunity to set up the exhibit on Sunday, Sept 29th. We’ll work alongside the filmmakers and Light of Life staff. Lunch will be provided.
Sign-up to help with load-in.

Donate Toiletry Items
We are in need of new toiletry items to use for our on-campus service project. Donate new items at the SLICE office on the 1st floor of the Cohon Center, located between the Info Desk and revolving doors, or purchase a few items off of our Amazon Wishlist.


Learn More:

Articles from panelist Rich Lord:

Get Help:

Seeking help for yourself or someone you care about? Connect with one of these resources:

If you are a student, talk with a Health Promotions staff member in University Health Services  or with a therapist in the Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) office. They can provide important support for you and get you connected with the appropriate resources.


Other Community Resources Include:

Gateway Rehabilitation Center: offers a variety of alcohol and other drugs treatment

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration Hotline: Call 1-800-662-4357 (HELP)

Light of Life Rescue Mission: for support with homelessness and/or addiction