The Tunnel People: Could You Live Like This?

As many of you know, I work very closely with the homeless community in Atlanta. I became passionate about this work several years ago when I realized that during the months of November and December, especially around the holidays, there are always tons of volunteers and people willing to donate food, clothing and other essentials to those less fortunate.

However, during the other ten months of the year, many times these people are not noticed or recognized at all. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen them shunned and treated almost like a disease. I know it’s annoying when we are sitting at a red light in our car and someone approaches our window begging for money. However, if I was living on the street with my son, and if I needed a way to feed him, I would do whatever I had to do, even if it meant asking someone else for spare change.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives and our daily challenges that we forget to be thankful for all that we have and to share it with others. In the spirit of giving and awareness, I would like to invite you to check out the pictures below and for just a moment put yourself in the shoes of these homeless people. As you can see, they may be considered homeless, but that doesn’t mean their spirit is broken. These are the “tunnel people” living in the tunnels underneath Las Vegas. Apparently about 1,000 people live down there.

Of course, many people become homeless because of they’ve lost their houses in the poor economy; however, most of the time, homelessness is a result of past or present drug addiction, mental illness or some kind of post-traumatic stress. Some of these people have been living in this flood tunnel, along with the rats and bugs, for over five years. They “furnish” their small surroundings with household things that others have thrown in the garbage.

It’s so crazy to me that while people are spending their money gambling in the Las Vegas casinos, there are people in the tunnel underneath those casinos that are wondering where their next meal is coming from. It upsets me every time I think about it. I have so much respect for people who know how to survive and make a life for themselves regardless of their situation. Their spirit still glows, and I can see it. In my opinion, nobody should have to live like this, but as long as they do, I want to make sure they aren’t forgotten.

[Image Credit: Daily Mail]