In the 1990s, the city built storm-drainage tunnels to protect the strip from raging flash floods. Donate to the Shine A Light foundation: http://beneaththeneon.com/shine-a-light/ I went underground to learn about the community of homeless people who live in Steven and his girlfriend Kathryn, for example, have furnished their 400sq ft ‘house’ with a double bed, a wardrobe, and even a bookshelf. In one ABC News report from 2009, a couple, who had been living in the tunnels for five years, had managed to furnish their home with a bed, bookcase and even a makeshift shower. Mole people is a term used to refer to homeless people living under large cities in abandoned subway, railroad, flood, and sewage tunnels and heating shafts. In 2016, a flash flood killed three residents including Sharon, who had featured in a YouTube documentary the year before. I spent $60 of my [social security] check on dope and over $600 playing slot machines.”. “I wouldn’t want to be homeless anywhere else,” he says. There is more to Las Vegas than the glitzy neon lights, casinos and clubs. But a year later, in June 2016, Sharon was one of the three victims who drowned in a flash flood. In the 1990s, the city built storm-drainage tunnels to protect the strip from raging flash floods. Residents - dubbed 'mole people' - range from full-time workers, unable to afford housing in the cash-rich city, to gambling addicts and drug addicts, who occupy three separate tunnels depending on whether they prefer crack, meth or heroin. While the City nestles in the Nevada Desert, where rainfall is rare, the 600 miles of flood channels - build in the 1980s - can fill up at a foot per minute during a storm, with currents as fast as 25-30mph. 679215 Registered office: 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. What I can do is take this $5 I’ve made getting change from people and turn it into a $100,000 and get my home back, get my wife back, try to get my life back on track. Buckets of water are used to wash but, without toilets, hygiene levels are dangerously low. But many residents are couples who have fallen on hard times and want to make their space as homely as possible. Former truck driver Nattrour, 54, said depression, brought on by his living arrangements, didn’t help: “I don’t even drink, but I bought a cocktail,” he told the Guardian. “I almost lost her,” Richard, 43, told the Mail. Their bed, meagre furniture and all their possessions were swept away in the torrent – which almost killed Cynthia. Be on the lookout for great stories from Fusion, right to your inbox. "A lot of [the dwellers] are really good about communicating with each other about when it's about to rain, so they can just grab their valuables and get out, and leave everything else behind.". Some have cooler boxes, which help to keep food from the rats that roam the tunnels at night, and others light fires to ward away the scavengers. The real-life phenomenon. One resident told the Guardian he moved tunnels because the man with a camp nearby, “p***es and sh**s where he sleeps.”. These people build makeshift homes in the closed channels. The Sun website is regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). “Even when he had an apartment he would furnish it from dumpsters.”. But that’s not the way it works.”. "The Sun", "Sun", "Sun Online" are registered trademarks or trade names of News Group Newspapers Limited. Comments are subject to our community guidelines, which can be viewed, Homeless couples make the space their own by furnishing with beds and shelves, Many have lost houses and brought their worldly possessions down to the tunnels, The walls are decorated with graffiti in the wide tunnels, Pornhub star Jenni Lee was discovered living in the tunnels by Dutch documentary workers, A bicycle rests alongside a makeshift kitchen in the damp tunnel, Phil looks for a toothbrush in his part of the underground world, Craig's haul of food from the dumpster looks like a weekly shop, The entrance to the tunnels under the busy Vegas highway, Craig says Vegas is the best place to be homeless because they are 'out of sight out of mind', Steven and Kathryn have furnished their 'home' with a double bed and book shelf, The tunnels provide shelter and safety as long as it doesn't rain, Ricky uses a roulette wheel cloth cover as a partition in a nod to the world above, Rats are a constant problem in the tunnels, A bedroom fashioned out of space in the dark tunnel, These cups taken from a casino are both sink and toilet to one resident, Rubbish litters the entrance of the tunnels, The outside of the tunnels piled with rubbish, Sharon drowned in 2016 when a flash flood took three lives, Residents use umbrellas when the rain starts but fear the floods, The wasteland outside is off limits to trespassers, Pornhub star Jenni Lee living in the dank storm drains, Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).
The Shine a Light Foundation made it a goal to reach out to these disadvantaged people to try and help. In 2018, over 42 million visitors flocked to the bright lights of Vegas and an average of £4billion is gambled each year.
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