In a sample of 581 homeless or drug-abusing minority women, the relationship of self-esteem, sense of coherence, and support availability to emotional distress, somatic complaints, and high-risk behavior were investigated. Findings revealed that women who were high in self-esteem and stronger in sense of coherence reported significantly less emotional distress, and significantly fewer high-risk behaviors. In addition, women who were high in any of the three resources reported lower somatic complaints. Regression analyses revealed that coherence, self-esteem and support availability jointly accounted for 49% of the variance in emotional distress, 10% of the variance in high-risk activities, and 26% of the variance in somatic complaints. Implications for empowering women at risk for HIV infection are discussed.