Unified service systems for the chronic mentally ill are frequently proposed yet rarely implemented. This paper presents a program developed specifically to meet the needs of young people with schizophrenia and their families. The program's evolution and design, from its origins in a hospital to its eventual base in the community, are described. The implications of a clinical teaching unit affiliated with a university are outlined. The experience of a typical patient and his family provides a view from a clinical context. Hypotheses arising from this case study point to future empirical work in the development of model programs in the care of the long term mentally ill.