The experience of runaway and homeless youth in the United States is not entirely unique and should be viewed in an international context. The youth in this country do have some unique characteristics and needs. Homeless youth in affluent societies such as ours are often on the streets for different reasons than those of their counterparts in developing countries. Nonetheless, life on the streets brings with it hazards for all homeless young people. Homeless youth are at risk for a number of serious physical and mental health problems, some resulting in pain and discomfort, others in disability and death.