Mole people refer to people who live underground, usually under a large city. New York has them, but a city with one of the largest verified population who live under it is Las Vegas.
Beneath Las Vegas is miles of tunnels, built mostly for flood control. Much of it never sees use and over 1,000 people live in these tunnels, setting up various types of room and housing.
All photos featured today were taken by Austin Hargrove.
The following text is from articles by thesun.co.uk and dailymail.co.uk:
“Steven was forced into the tunnels three years ago after his heroin addiction led to him losing his job.
He says he is now clean and the pair survive by ‘credit hustling’ in the casinos, donning second-hand clothes to check the slot machines for chips accidently left behind.
Further into the maze are Amy and Junior who married in the Shalimar Chapel – one of Vegas’s most popular venues – before returning to the tunnels for their honeymoon.
They lost their home when they became addicted to drugs after the death of their son Brady at four months old.
‘I heard Las Vegas was a good place for jobs,’ Amy said. ‘But it was tough and we started living under the staircase outside the MGM casino.
‘Then we met a guy who lived in the tunnels. We’ve been down here ever since.’
‘These are normal people of all ages who’ve lost their way, generally after a traumatic event,’ he said.
‘Many are war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress.
‘It’s not known how many children are living there, as they’re kept out of sight, but I’ve seen evidence of them – toys and teddy bears.’
As for other entertainment in the tunnels, the 45-year-old adds: “We’re big talk radio fans. And a few of us are accomplished musicians and have instruments here.
“One guy down here has a full-time job. I don’t think gambling is the cause of many people being down here. It’s more alcohol and drugs. We all gamble a bit — we’re in Vegas.”
“To come out of the tunnel and face the world is intimidating for some of the people. Some are very much entrenched down in that tunnel and comfortable. That’s why the charity doesn’t like to give out too much food, water and clothing.