Homeless People Live Under Las Vegas in Sewer Tunnels
It may sound like a scene out of Ridley Scott sci-fi film, but beneath the famous Las Vegas Strip, an untold number of homeless people live in the sewer tunnels like rodents.
Las Vegas, Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation and fourth-highest rate of homelessness (an estimated 12,000).
The town's mayor Oscar Goodman has tried to outlaw homeless encampments above ground, attempted to criminalize feeding the homeless and wants them banned from public parks: “I don’t want them there. They’re not going to be there. I’m not going to let it happen. They think I’m mean now, wait until the homeless try to go over there.”
However, living underground has its dangers as well. Every time it rains in Las Vegas, the draining water causes flash floods that wash away everything the residents own. On average, one homeless person drowns in the tunnel each year, reports the Daily Mail.
Richard Ethridge and Cynthia Goodwin (pictured below), who have been married 12 years, recalled a day when a rush of water came through the tunnel where they made a home.
All of their possessions were swept away in a moment and Goodwin almost was too.
Ethridge told the Toronto Globe and Mail: "I almost lost her. She was in another tunnel holding on to her bike. The water was so strong it ripped the front tire off the bike."
Goodwin works from time-to-time as a housekeeper, but adds: "It’s hard to get a job when you’ve got no address. We can give them a cell number, but you don’t get reception down here."