This paper discusses the findings of a study of runaways and homeless youth who were interviewed on the street the last week of every month on five week nights from late afternoon until 2 a.m. over a period of one year. The data derived from 489 interviews provided some interesting insights. Two distinct groups emerged from the analysis, generating a tentative hypothesis that the true "runners" tend to leave their homes with the intention of not returning and thus their runs are extended; the second group, designated "in and outers," use the run as a temporary coping mechanism. Their runs tend to be impulsive and of short duration. The study found that runaways (in particular the runners) are at great risk of being drawn into illegal activities. Major factors affecting this risk are distance from home and length of time on the run. A significant proportion of the youth interviewed had run from substitute care arrangements, and a disturbing implication emerging from the research is that adolescents in our society suffer from systemic abuse and neglect. One outcome of this piece of research was the opening of a safe house for early runners in January 1987. The operation of the house includes careful compilation of data to further advance understanding of the runaway population and its needs.