Witness - Under the Neon (Las Vegas' homeless living beneath Casinos in underground tunnels & storm-drains)
Las Vegas is the city of glitter, glamour and gambling. And if you believe the hype, a place to get rich quick.
In just one year, the Las Vegas casinos can rake in more than $6 billion in revenue. And yet, in the state of Nevada, home to Las Vegas, one in ten people are unemployed and there are between 11,000 and 14,000 homeless people in Las Vegas itself.
But the homeless are kept well out of sight of the all-important tourists. You can even be arrested for feeding a homeless person in a park.
Quite a number of them have made their homes in the tunnels and storm drains right under the busy highways and casinos.
Under the Neon is an extraordinary journey below the surface of the bright lights of Las Vegas, to meet some of the people who are battling to make some kind of home under the streets of gold.
From Publishers Weekly:
In 2002, as managing editor of the alternative weekly, Las Vegas CityLife, O'Brien was intrigued when a murderer eluded police by vanishing into the Vegas flood-control system. After O'Brien and CityLife contributor Josh Ellis explored half a dozen storm drains, their adventures attracted such attention on the Internet that the publication's Web site scored a million hits in a day.
Continually contrasting the sparkling casinos above with the dank, cobwebbed catacombs below, the observant O'Brien writes with a noirish flair, but his compassion is also evident as he illuminates the lives of these shadowy subterranean dwellers.
The author of the book below is interviewed in this film
Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas (Paperback)
by Matthew O'Brien
Other shunster posts at:http://www.bt-chat.com/browse.php?category=11
(you can view a streamed version of this film here)
Watch Al Jazeera Live: http://www.livestation.com/channels/3-al_jazeera_english