Vagrants Find 'Home' in Tunnels Under Vegas Casinos

Tunnel dwellers trade danger of drowning for a little comfort
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2009 6:39 PM CDT
A view of the Las Vegas Strip, seen from the Rio Hotel & Casino.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Flood tunnels beneath the casinos of Las Vegas seem an unlikely place to call home. But that’s exactly what they are to an estimated 700, including some who’ve built surprisingly elaborate makeshift dwellings in the 350-plus miles under the city. The Sun describes the “home” of couple Steven and Kathryn, who have a double bed, bookshelves and even a shower—made from a drinking-water dispenser.

“One man’s junk is another man’s gold,” explains Steven.” Many in the tunnels have drug or alcohol problems, sustaining themselves by “credit hustling”—looking for winnings left by in slot machines by drunken gamblers. The tunnels are more comfortable than the streets, but that comfort is a dangerous illusion, explains a writer who has studied the community. “It doesn’t rain much in Nevada but when it does the tunnels can fill very quickly,” he says—leading to 20 drownings the past 20 years. Click the link below for photos of the "homes."