The Secret Life of People Living Beneath the Las Vegas Strip

Jun 24, 2020Rita Kumar

Beneath the glowing skyline of the ever-cheerful Las Vegas, thousands of people have found what they call "home" and live out their "American Dream." Day in and day out, the worldly residents who live a posh life above these tunnels are unaware of the parallel world running just beneath their feet. Profoundly known as the "Mole People," these underground residents managed to take refuge in what is otherwise an ordinary block of a concrete pit used to keep rainwater away from the busy city. Check out the secret life of the tunnel residents of Las Vegas.

The Secret Life Underneath Las Vegas Tunnels

Over 200 miles of rainwater tunnels have found their use in something else apart from keeping the city safe from floods. Perhaps, these tunnels have provided a roof over the heads of many refugees who call it their home. This way of living has become their only reciprocation towards life, and the residents don't feel the urge to change their lifestyle in any way.

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Dark Labyrinths Provide a Roof Over the Head for the Homeless

Not one or two, the tunnel in Las Vegas houses over 1,000 homeless people in its concrete walls and dark coves. These are a bunch of people whose American dreams turned into nothing but a nightmare. Still, most of them decided to live with their unfulfilled desires in a world away, or perhaps, underneath the megacity.

Life Couldn't Have Been this Challenging

Las Vegas might seem like a piece of paradise fallen on earth! The opulent lifestyle, skylit nights, and buzzing life speeding against the realm of time is not just what the busy city is all about. While the surface might seem awe-inspiring, the concrete pits that were once engineered to keep rainwater from the city have a thousand tales to tell.

The Refugees Make Life Out of Everything Possible 

While the tunnels are themselves a long trail of nothing but mere concrete, the residents did manage to make a separate space for themselves, more or less like regular rooms. And they have furnished their so-called tunnel abode too. Old carton boxes, mattresses, wooden furniture, and even a kitchen are all parts of their tunnel life.

The Only Means of Survival Beneath the Busy World

The dark labyrinth that has become the only means of survival or perhaps protection isn't anything comfortable. And these tunnels weren't designed to house life. Instead, their sole purpose beneath the city was to keep rainwater at bay. Perhaps, the people who live in these dark tunnels do fear of being washed away during storms. Sadly, such incidents have taken place before.

They Still Dream of a Better Life 

All the people who've taken their abode in the Las Vegas tunnels are helpless. Perhaps, this is the only misfortune that unites them apart from their instances and takes on life. Nevertheless, each of them still hopes to live a better life and make it up with a better home and a normal life.

People of All Sorts Have Camped Here for Years

These tunnels house people from different categories, including refugees and even war veterans. They live in fear and know that their so-called homes can be washed away any minute after the storms, but they have nowhere to go and call it their home. How they do it?

They Assume Life from the Other End

Of the thousands of refugees are Tommy, 55, and his wife, Shay, 53. Though the couple has tried their best to make things possible out of the tunnel's hard life, nothing came in easy for them. Perhaps, they had to put together different pieces of troubles and hard work to fix what they now call their home in the dark labyrinth. Amidst the refuge lifestyle, Shay still manages to revive her passion for soft toys that she collected from the dump. But does this bit of happiness each of them down there rejoices lasts forever? 

Nothing Lasts Long Down There

But what Tommy and Shay call their peaceful home doesn't have a happy ending. It is prone to get washed away during heavy rain. When it rains heavily, the underground shafts in these tunnels accumulate the water and expel it out of the city, keeping the surface dwellers safe from the flood. But for those who've made a home in these tunnels, the story is devastating. Everything gets washed away, forcing them to reform their home from where they lost. 

Fitting into the Community Isn't an Easy Joke

Fitting into the community of tunnel dwellers isn't always easy. Rusty, 54, has been residing here with her husband and two dogs for about five years. Having bid farewell to her apartment life in Las Vegas, Rusty recalls that no landlord accepted them owing to her husband's past. And this pushed her forward into the tunnel with her husband and her dogs. Can they call it "home"?

Life Becomes Quite a Challenge During Storms

However, when it does storm around the place, the rainwater sweeps with it all their happiness along with the only shelter they might have. And their belongings are sometimes washed away, leaving them behind to start a life from scratch back in the eerie tunnels. Though the number of people living in each section of these tunnels varies, not all are permanent residents. 

Void of Safety and Security, Yet, this is What They Call as "Home"

No surveillance cameras and no safety—life in the tunnels become a repetition of danger for its homeless residents. Moreover, the refugees are sometimes forced to leave their shelter when sudden check-ups take place. Nevertheless, the tunnel dwellers try to make the best from their difficult situation in the labyrinth.

The Fear of Losing Their Only Home Haunts Each of Them

Sustaining livelihood in a dark cove underneath a bright and energetic city doesn't come easy for these tunnel dwellers. There's nothing much in here—no protection, no peace of mind, and no electricity. Each day of their lives is nothing but an arriving challenge, and they hope that their only abode isn't snatched away from them. Moreover, the fear of staying with a thousand other unknown people becomes nothing less than a nightmare for each of the residents in these tunnels. 

Each Day is Nothing Less of Struggles and Fear

Each day underneath the otherwise busy city is nothing less than unforeseen danger and despair. Fear of losing their only home during the storm on one side and the inability to live a life of dreams on the other, the homeless people beneath Las Vegas strip are living examples of what life can turn out to be when unnoticed and uncared.

A city of a posh and lavish lifestyle like Las Vegas is nothing but a living nightmare for many refugees who've found home underneath its busy surface. Next time you're in or around Las Vegas, never forget that you might be standing on someone's roof! While various initiatives are being taken to surface these tunnel dwellers to normal life, some of them prefer a quiet life away from the busy Las Vegas. Nevertheless, we still hope that the Mole People of Las Vegas find a good home where safety is the priority. Well, what is your take on Las Vegas' tunnel dwellers? Please share your comments with us.

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