Dr Phil: Troy Dunn Below Rock Bottom
Dr Phil sent The Locator, Troy Dunn, Below Rock Bottom into the underground tunnels below Las Vegas, Nevada, which are populated by a homeless community. He was sent in search of Cindy by her four adult daughters, who want a better life for their mother. But the journey out of homelessness would not be an easy one.
Dr Phil: Beneath The Neon Review
Matthew O’Brien is the author of Beneath The Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas, and he may know the tunnels and their inhabitants better than anyone else. He agreed to guide Troy Dunn through the underground community in hopes of reuniting with Cindy.
Just west of the Las Vegas Strip, Matt guided Troy to the Flamingo Wash and into the storm drains below, where the homeless population has set up camp. O’Brien said that he started visiting the tunnels 11 years ago, and said it was a shock at first to find that people lived in the tunnels.
Matthew and Troy encountered some residents, including John, who said that he came to Las Vegas after his children moved to college. He said he wanted to start a new life after many years of hard work. He has kept in touch with his children, but not his wife.
Dr Phil: Las Vegas Tunnel Community
There was some stunning artwork in the tunnels, and Troy Dunn tried to do some art critiquing. Matt ventured deeper into the tunnels, where some residents had furniture and clean clothes. Dunn was fascinated by their organization and cleanliness.
Claustrophobia and arachnophobia would seem to disqualify you from life in the tunnels, but as someone who has always been intrigued by small spaces, I am impressed at the ingenuity of the people who have made this their home. I would definitely be concerned about flooding, though.
Dr Phil: Homeless Cindy Underground Las Vegas
In another stretch of tunnels, Matt encountered Cindy and Rick. Troy Dunn was glad to finally meet the woman he had been searching for. The couple let Dr Phil’s cameras tour the area they have called home for two years.
Cindy said they use carts for organization, in case the rain is coming through, so they can evacuate in a hurry. They even created a guest room to accommodate up to five other homeless people on any given night.
Their home included decorations on the wall, and their names were spray painted on the wall. They seemed to have a fair amount of groceries, and they even cook them using a cook top. Cindy and Rick also have two pet rats that they feed.
Dr Phil: Homeless Couple In Las Vegas Tunnels
The couple grabbed a brand new box spring and mattress, a display model that had been discarded by a local store. They also have a pet rat they acquired from a pet store, whose name is Pilfer. I am too fascinated by all this to even judge.
You can hear cars rattling the manholes overhead, but the natives are used to these sounds, unlike Troy Dunn and Dr Phil’s audience. I also would fear that people would throw trash into storm drains, which I would not appreciate. But maybe they drop good stuff sometimes too?
In case of an attack, they have a piece of rebar to use as a weapon in an emergency. The tunnel community also has a tunnel they use as a public restroom. Rick said he is embarrassed of his living situation, but Troy Dunn said that he is doing what he can to provide for his wife.
“The most important thing is not where you’re living,” Troy said. “It’s where you want to get to.”
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