Vegas tunnel people a sign of the times?
Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps; there is no last call in Vegas. All of the happiness that comes from bright lights, gambling and free flowing booze is a huge contrast to the meager lives of the inhabitants who live below Sin City.
There are 200 miles of flood tunnels underneath the glitz and glamor of the Vegas strip. And there are reportedly 1,000 people who call these damp spider filled pathways home.
People down there like Steven and his girlfriend Kathryn have constructed their mole-like homes with love and care. They call a 400 sq. ft. portion of the tunnel their “bungalow”. Thanks to their ingenuity their space features a double bed, a closet and even a bookshelf.
In the five years they have been there they have made a shower out of a water cooler, hung paintings on the walls and collected abandoned books to build their own library. Their possessions have to be carefully put in plastic crates to stop them from getting soaked by the putrid water that pools on the floor.
“Our bed came from a skip outside an apartment complex,” Steven explains in a story by the Daily Mail.
“It's mainly stuff people dump that we pick up. One man's junk is another man's gold...We get the stuff late at night so people don't see us because it's kind of embarrassing.”
Steven sought out the tunnels three years ago after his heroin addiction led to him being fired from his job. Left with no other options he was forced down into the sewers to live a life resembling that of the Morlocks from the H.G. Wells classic The Time Machine.
He told the Daily Mail that he is now clean and that he and his girlfriend survive by living off of the casino chips others leave behind.
They call it “credit hustling” but whatever it is apparently people get so drunk in Vegas that they are always leaving money behind.
Steve claims that he once found $997 on one gambling machine! That’s never happened to me when I’ve gone to the casino. Don’t those people know they can spend those chips on more booze?
Another couple who call the sub-human palace underneath Las Vegas home is Amy and Junior. They got married in the Shalimar Chapel which is one of Vegas’s most popular matrimony factories, they returned to the tunnels for their honeymoon.
They lost their house when they became drug addicts after the death of their son Brady who was four months old.
“I heard Las Vegas was a good place for jobs,” said Amy.
“But it was tough and we started living under the staircase outside the MGM casino. Then we met a guy who lived in the tunnels. We’ve been down here ever since.”
Matthew O’Brien is a reporter who happened to stumble across the tunnel people when he was gathering information on a murder case. He has set up The Shine A Light foundation to help the people living underneath the Vegas strip.
“These are normal people of all ages who’ve lost their way, generally after a traumatic event.
"Many are war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress.”
Nobody knows how many children live down there, but O’Brien has said that he has seen toys and teddy bears in the tunnels. He is pretty sure the tunnel dwellers keep the children hidden.
A thousand people living in tunnels, they can’t all be drug addicts can they?
All kidding aside if some of these people living in the tunnels are veterans with PTSD what does that say about how well we take care of our veterans? Is this how we repay their sacrifices? We give them a spot in the gutter?
Will a down economy with no immediate signs of recovery continue to force even more people to live underground? If it does let’s hope the tunnel people come back to the surface and take some of the Federal Reserve banker idiots with them.
Let’s see how well they can inflate the currency underground with angry, tunnel dwelling, PTSD vets repeatedly beating them on their heads with a pipe.