Kansas City Police Find Underground City Of Homeless People

Nathan Francis - Author
By

Nov. 8 2016, Updated 4:41 a.m. ET

Kansas City police have found an underground city of homeless people on the city’s northeast side, with residents there believed to be responsible for a crime wave locally.

The elaborate camp was built in a wooded area within the city, and contained a number of tents as well as tunnels that led to underground rooms.

“One of the tunnels probably went 20 to 25 feet underground towards the back and veered off in another direction about six feet or so, and there was some bedding and some candles,” said police Jason Cooley. “It was kind of in a little hill and probably four feet beneath the surface.”

Many of the holes were concealed, Cooley said, and at least one had wood stacked around it. The underground tunnels even had PVC pipe to provide ventilation.

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Police entered the homeless camps last week to break them up, evicting the people who lived there because of the squalid conditions.

“We’re working to find out if in fact they’ve got kids down here because this is not a safe environment for that,” Cooley. He noted that there’s been a rash of crime in the area due to the underground homeless city, including thefts at a nearby grain mill.

Cooley said officers became concerned when they noticed piles of soiled diapers, indicating that some of the homeless residents may have had children living in the unclean conditions.

Evicting the homeless people living underground will actually be much better for them, homeless outreach groups operating out of Kansas City say.

“By providing help for these people in this manner, maybe they won’t feel the need to go out and steal because they’re getting services they need to be able to live and survive,” said Carla Brewer of Hope Faith Ministries.

Both Kansas City police and Hope Faith Ministries said they have never seen a camp as large as the underground homeless city.

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