11:35 AM EST, January 28, 2013
Beneath the neon lights of the glittering Las Vegas strip lies a secret world where more than a thousand people live and call home.
It's hard to believe that in America’s number one tourist destination, some people are so down and out they are literally living in the sewers beneath Las Vegas.
INSIDE EDITION wondered what life was like for the tunnel people, so, with photographer Mona Shieldpain as our guide, INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret and a camera crew ventured deep inside and found boxes stacked to the ceiling.
We found boxes and behind them was a married couple who built a makeshift apartment.
Moret said, “They’re not boxes. They're separating one apartment from another.
Shieldpain said, "Exactly, it's their wall.”
Moret asked, “So this is the wall for your, basically for your apartment right?”
One of the people said, “Yeah.”
One living space is home to Cindy and her husband, Rick, an unemployed mechanic.
Shieldpain said, “It's tragic, it's tragic, they're lovely people they're married for 12 years they're trying their best and it breaks my heart.”
There was only just a light drizzle outside but in the tunnels you can here how things can go from bad to worse very quickly. There's water accumulating on the floor you can hear the water rushing in from above and a flash flood could happen any minute taking all this property and washing it away.
Another challenge is privacy. During our shoot, Cindy and Rick’s "neighbor" Julian popped in. He actually has to walk through their bedroom just to get in and out.
There's no heat, no plumbing down there, and no electricity. To give you a sense of what it's like down there, when we turn off our light, it's horrifying when you realize it's literally 24 hours of darkness.
Despite fighting the darkness and the elements, the tunnel people have nowhere to go. They will try to safe and dry in their nightmare called “Lost Vegas.”