Following a review of several studies of homeless populations, the authors describe a survey of 68 homeless adults in eight urban emergency shelters in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The results indicated impressive rates of mental illness, alcoholism, minor criminality, and chronic medical and dental problems. More significant, the authors believe, both for the homeless and for public policy planners, is that a majority of the interviewees were disconnected from supportive social networks and were underutilizing medical and welfare programs for which they were eligible. Almost 40 percent of those with chronic health problems were receiving no medical care, and only 6 percent were receiving mental health services, although more than 50 percent needed such care. The authors compare the findings with those of studies discussed in the literature review.