Vagrants Might Be Living in Dallas Storm Drains

Vagrants Might Be Living in Dallas Storm Drains
Ring doorbell camera footage from a resident of North Dallas’ JanMar neighborhood | Image by Candy's Dirt

A video recently shared online shows a man climbing out of a storm drain in North Dallas’ Jan Mar neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, a Jan Mar homeowner was awakened around 3:30 a.m. by her Ring doorbell, alerting her to movement outside her front door. She looked outside and saw a man crawling out of a storm drain on Forest Lane near North Central Expressway.

The man, presumably a vagrant, had already thrown his belongings onto the street before the resident started recording, but the video did capture him wriggling out of the drain, packing his items, then walking down the street.

When the resident notified the City of Dallas of the incident, city staff said they could not put a gate on the storm drain.

The homeowner’s neighbor reported the event to the Hillcrest Forest Neighborhood Association (HFNA) and her city council representative, District 11’s Jaynie Schultz. While action has yet to be taken, Schultz did tell the resident she would notify the Office of Homeless Solutions (OHS).

“When we were made aware of this video, we immediately contacted the Office of Homeless Solutions,” Schultz told CandysDirt.com. “Additionally, HFNA has reached out to their security team as well.”

Schultz “offered to host a neighborhood meeting in addition to the Neighborhood Summit.” At that meeting, concerned residents “discussed the challenge of homelessness and all the steps” they were taking.

“It is critical that people make the OHS and their outreach team aware of all cases of homelessness,” Shultz concluded.

The Dallas Express reached out to the OHS for comment and any update regarding the issue but received no additional information by the time of publication.

Other cities have faced similar circumstances. Las Vegas, for example, reportedly has had vagrants populating their storm drains. As many as 1,500 people could be living in the tunnels under the city at any given time.

Living in the tunnels can become deadly when the city is hit with heavy storms. In August, two people were found dead in a Las Vegas flood channel after a period of heavy rains.

California officials responded in September by sealing shut several drain covers to discourage vagrants from camping within the city’s drainage tunnels.



This piece originally reported and published in CandysDirt.com

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  1. Petra Mitchell

    City Council District 11 rep is worthless. How does she spend her time? Not assisting her neighbors.

    • John PETRA

      Oh that’s real helpful Petra. Nice way to get the comments section moving in a helpful manner. You are so insightful. I think you should go to church before you go to hell

  2. Travis J

    I really don’t see a problem with this, they have to know they could drown, they are choosing to risk their life and not hurting anyone.

    • Pap

      So you want them popping in and out of your neighborhood. Plus there is human excrement to consider. It can cause disease and bring rats and other vermin and insects, not to mention the odor. You do know typhoid was caused by the bacteria from human feces? An idea is not a good idea if you don’t think ahead and consider the repercussions. Read up about Typhoid Mary and be educated.

      • Katie

        Pap by no means do I mean dor this to sound any kind of disrespectful just trying to give you some insight as well i saw that you mentioned a concern about Typhoid and it being tied to human excrement, so yes homeless people still have to use the restroom and unfortunately in today’s world most businesses including gas stations won’t allow people to use there restrooms and the number of avaliable spots in shelters is nowhere near enough to cover the number of homeless people. I for one have never come across someone who has told me they would rather use the restroom in a bucket then with running water. Homeless people are still people just like people who live in multi million dollar homes and being able to use a restroom/portapotty shouldn’t be seen as a luxury but a necessity of life so as humans if instead of shunning people for being in worse situations then we are in maybe we find a solution to some of the downfalls in today’s society that makes life harder on people who are already struggling tremendously

        • Pap

          No offense taken. It’s a discussion. Yes, the homeless population has become a huge problem and is heartbreaking. But I don’t think allowing them to live in storm drains in established neighborhoods with small children is the answer. Our government never gives these people a care, except recently, some areas are trying to get their votes. When the election is over, they’ll be done with them. Our government wastes money on some of the most ignorant, outrageous things (mostly about how to sway votes their way, which is not the original purpose of electing leaders, and erecting new government buildings that look like New York shopping malls). Money that just might be better spent working on the homeless situation.

    • Lady Lacey

      Nobody wants to hear about Jane or John Doe being washed away in a flood or rushing waters. Let’s be honest, once you leave downtown Dallas the esthetics change(the further north you go) and the residents don’t want to see them(its mostly image). I believe some people really can make a difference if they tried versus just complaining.

    • Pap

      Plus you might want to consider how easy it might be for one of them to grab a small child and scoop them down the hole. Also, they could start dying down there. A dead body casts off horrible smells, bodily gases, etc., and then chewed on by rats. They could get disease from the moist atmosphere and then bring it to the surface. You want to deal with another plague?

  3. Lady Lacey

    Unfortunately, homelessness has many causes and people result to means of survival. When “Tent City” was shut down a few years ago near downtown Dallas (underneath I45 and Live Oak) it has pushed even more homeless people into other areas. These are not just mentally ill people or drug/alcohol addicts, there are military veterans with skills to live near water sources. Yes, it affects us all. We have to do more than contact local reps. Use your platforms and levels of influence to help the organizations that deal with homelessness. This is a WE problem not just THEIR problem.


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