Despite gains in national income, Ethiopia’s cities have seen a steady increase of homeless women and children. This study focuses on the lives of twenty-five adult women and twenty-seven children living on the streets of Hawassa, Ethiopia. Nearly all were driven to the streets by poverty compounded by abuse and violence and/or loss of supporting family members, illness, and lack of social supports. The Ethiopian government offers a food-for-work program, but this is an inadequate social safety net. Recommendations include government provision of long-term shelter, food assistance, school supplies for children, legal and economic assistance, and access to medical care.