Living In The Hidden Tunnels Of Las Vegas

Living In The Hidden Tunnels Of Las Vegas


We have about 600 miles of flood
channels in the whole Las Vegas
Two or three of the tunnels
go right beneath the strip.
A few go beneath
the downtown area,
and then the rest
are just everywhere.
You can see the neon lights,
the 40 story tall casinos,
the polished lobbies.
And then right beneath that
is this dark and gray world
where people are just
trying to survive.

I go to the tunnels maybe
two or three times a month,
just to check on people.
I started a community
project called
Shine A Light to try to do what
I can to help the people who
are living down there.

You ready to see who’s around?
Let’s do it.

It’s a stuffed animal
wrapped in caution tape.
That’s the kind of thing
if you’re by yourself late
at night walking and you see
it, it can give you the chills.
Craig, is that you?
Can you give us a quick
tour of your camp?
Just describe–
Well, I just made this up.
I locked this down to make
sure the wind and air can
come through, a pretty
decent amount of air.
You can lower this if
you need to and shut it?
It’s cold.
The floor is cold.
The floor is cold enough to keep
the food preserved a little?
You found this in a trashcan?
Yeah, dumpster diving.
Craig is one of the
masters of dumpster diving.
Even when he had
an apartment, he
would dumpster dive and
furnish it with stuff he found.
I wouldn’t want to be homeless
anywhere else, I would think.
Out of sight, out of
mind here, in Vegas.

You’re left alone.
You have some privacy, and
strangely, a sense of security
down here.

How are you doing?
How are you?
Good to see you.
You’ve lived down here
off and on for how long?
Oh, my god.
Since 2004.
Take me back to that moment.
You lived, white picket
fence, family, kids?
I came down here,
and I expected it
to be dirtier, more humidity–
raw sewage going through
or something.
And I saw how it was.
And I was like, wow.
That’s not as bad as I thought.
Whatever my man
chooses or whatever,
that’s what I want too.
If he wants to live
down here, then I’ll
live down here with him.
Can you give us a little tour?
This is one of the
more elaborate camps,
you’ll see down here.
The bed is elevated on
these shopping carts.
That’s my refrigerator.
The cooler?
I keep the food,
yeah, and water.
Aren’t those the coin
cups from the casinos?
You use that as a bathroom?
That’s our bathroom, our toilet.
People get so comfortable living
down here with their couch,
and their milk crate, and
their clothes hung up.
And I think
sometimes, they almost
forget that they’re
living in a flood channel.


It says, aghast, the devil stood
and felt how awful goodness is.
I think it’s a line from
Milton’s “Paradise Lost”
that a guy named Ricky
wrote on the wall.
He’s a bit of a poet,
a rough guy, tough guy.
But he also has a
more sensitive side.

Yeah, this is a roulette table.
You use it just as a curtain?

You have a canopy, huh?
This keeps you warm.
Oh, you can pull it down over?
Is that a thin mattress
or a few blankets?
Those are two McDonald’s crates.
That they unload
their supplies with?
Yeah, and they didn’t get back.
So what is it about the tunnels
that attracts you to it?
For one thing, it’s free rent.
I know my future, and
I’m past 50 years old.
I have extensive
prison background.
And I know I won’t get no work,
no decent work around here.
So what?
You feel you don’t
have any future,
so you just don’t mind
staying down here?

Unless you could think
of a better future than I
could think of.

And what I’ve discovered is
it’s very tough to get someone
to come out literally
into the light
and to face the issues that
made them become homeless
in the first place and to
try to change and turn that
around and give up the freedom.

The people down here have
been really good to me
as far as welcoming
me into their homes,
sharing their stories with me.
The thought part of
helping just one of them
or brightening
one of their days,
those are the kind of
things that keep me going.

In another episode
of “Seeker Stories,”
find out how a controversial
medical procedure
is saving lives.
So we process stool
from healthy donors
and send it out to hospitals
all over the country.
The population that
we’re treating this way,
this is their last resort.
They’ve been sick for a
minimum of six months.
And this cures them.
This classic case that I
take care of has an over 90%
success rate.
To watch more stories,
be sure to subscribe.
Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Living In The Hidden Tunnels Of Las Vegas”


  2. ''IF my man wants to live down here, I'll live down here with him'' – that my friends is the definition of a good woman

  3. If we got all these tunnels now, then how come after a heavy rain it still always floods out the driveways at Harrahs?

  4. I visited as Vegas and realise the hotel workers work for tourist money to live. I wouldn't live in Las Vegas you can tell what people live there or holiday there. Las Vegas has so many lights it blinded the homeless community. Give food, guidance and help,

  5. i wish the curious cameras would bring FRUIT for the homeless! (don't mourn! ORGANIZE….. fresh fruit Fridays?!)

  6. The reason that they can't put the subway system in vegas because terrorist would jump off the train to bow up the hidden volt under the hotels.

  7. Please don't document stuff like this, while it may "seem" good to bring things like to to light. Its really not. If these people get kicked out their lives will change for the worse…

  8. 5:05 Basically some people can not be helped. Give a poor person a winning lottery and despite that soon they will be poor again.

  9. My friends and I used to hang out in and explore these tunnels as teenagers, on the Summerlin side. Never ran into any encampments and rarely any people (they were visiting, not living down there anyway), but read Matt O'Brien's book when it came out and have always been fascinated by these people and their stories. Looking forward to going back one day to help out, do some homeless outreach, etc.

  10. Hey matt its Joe from 2013-2015 we didn't know each other well but I was close with Boston Callie Jess Toxic Irish etc. I have turned my life around & wanted you to know I hold great respect for your humanity and wish you a blessed life my friend. P.S. sorry about throwing rocks at your drone I figured it was the police. My apologies brother

  11. American dream from.other 3rd world country i could nit even imagine american govt cant provide for this people when they purchase billions of dollars investing in wars around the world

  12. My friend live here 10 years ago after she got layoff from$15 an hour dealer job in a las Vegas casino,I don't know if she is alive !

  13. Matthew. Please contact me. I’d love to help and be a part of your “shine the Light”. This issue has been on my mind since I moved here from Minnetrista. Thank you for shinning your story, the light on people whom need living essential to survival

  14. The lazy, the people that doesn't want financial responsibility, don't want to work or pay tax. They deserve where they are, they don't need help. They will die broke and unknown.

  15. Sharon is a fool following a “man” who wants to live down there. What’s worse is the scumbag who exploits the misery of these people and hugs them as if he is friends with them. It’s the most disingenuous heap of BS I’ve seen in a long time.

  16. Lot of tweakers taking over tunnels And doing drugs Under The tunnel's 😔that's not good for the good people at there because they Get crazy 😒

  17. Carnation condensed milk was produced since 1899 but took the name Carnation Milk in 1901. The company was eventually sold to Nestle in 1986 who still makes the milk today, but now it is called "Nestle's Carnation Cooking Milk"

  18. im a near homeless firefighter from indiana, maybe i should go down there during rainstorms and try to save lives.

  19. hi i live in vegas and it tripped me out seeing Sharon bc she died in the tunnel we had lots of rain and tunnel flooded she drowned i had known her for yrs. seeing this vid really upset me she was a good person

  20. "I know I won't find no work". well ya, not if you dont look. Most homeless people choose to live that way. Mostly addictions and lazyness.

  21. How do I get in contact with the person involved in contacting the homeless in the segment, " Living in the Hidden Tunnels of Las Vegas?"

  22. So they block off the tunnel? Privacy? What if somebody wants to walk through? They should be concerned about flash floods but they know that.

  23. only areas in town that i've seen homeless in are pipes either flood drains like these or even small ones that are wide as a 2 lane road .idk where else anyone could stay under the vegas weather and survive ? I have and do see a few camping in dirt dunes here where i live around the nlv airport but when june come around they leave . tents put up next to dumpsters etc and squatting ,but the abandoned houses are disappearing fast cos the economies on the upswing .not could be me -will be me

  24. Most people don't want to be responsible and choose to live like that. How are you homeless but you can buy cigarettes and or drugs but can't find a basic job to rentva room or studio apartment.

  25. You fall asleep in a tunnel only to wake up to a man rubbing your testicles. You say to him “Why are you rubbing my testicles?” and he says “I’m sorry I thought they were mine”. Then you realize your just high, it’s your own hand, and there is no other man there, and back to sleep.

  26. you get over 48 and got no skill and bad with money . and white to boot , its over .labor laws are anti white male ,it cost 10 k more to hire people over 48

  27. Talking about Paradise Lost, there is a place of…certain significance also in Nevada. Both are underground…further underground…where did all the people go? Only the federal government knows…

  28. I feel so bad for these folks, and I realize that the way the economy is alot of us are where we are one paycheck away from their situation or living check to check. People do not plan on living that way and want better, but when thats not possible, you do what you have too. These are strong people that want to survive, I think some like the gentleman who has the jail record really also is there to be left alone, he knows he could be living better if he was back in jail, but his freedom is more important and that says alot about him. These people just need a break, but they are tuff and have learned the inns and outs of getting by, they have learning you can not get from books, they have street smarts and thats what you need to survive. Plus they are not dirty people, they just do not dream anymore because of their ages they do the best they can and di not waste energy on maybes or what ifs, its called SURVIVAL…I wish them the best and hope their situations become what they want them to be, I can not say I hope they get out of there, because some people choose to be there, they feel more comfortable there, its their home and its where they make the rules, and live how they please , but at natures mercy…

  29. What happens when it floods? everything that they own will get washed away..I take it they just start all over again..This is a sad situation makes me angry as well..

  30. It's a fragile economic system we live in. People want to blame the homeless for not working. People want to blame the working class for living above their means, people want to blame the wealthy for living way above everyone's means. Maybe all the blame should go to the Mexicans for premature population growth. Sure, ALL of these things play a role in the coming collapse, but whose fault will it be when there is no more USA? We could not survive another dust bowl type event. There'll be too much Mass murder and mass suicide. Not even the military is equipped to deal with a 20 sided civil war! Racism, sexism, feminism, anti poor, anti rich, Republican, Democrat, socialist, capitalist, bad parents, delinquents, etc… The worst thing about the USA is in building relationships with people. If the economy ever truly tanks, our country fades away, while China, and several other countries will cope MUCH better. They still have people that do my job (truck driver) on foot with wheel carts. No oil? No problem, they'll just work harder. In the USA, no Petro? Suicide and mass murder… People need to cooperate to make better relationships or it's bye bye to our country in the worst way.

  31. I remember living in summerlin and my friend and I would have these adventures in the tunnels and we found a mini go kart, old camps (homes), we travel for hours and ended up by the side of the mountains maybe 3 hours away from we lived.

  32. I'm nobody. I'm a tramp, a bum, a hobo. I'm a boxcar and jug o' wine. And a straight razor, if you get too close to me.

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