A critical component of the success of this project was a group discharge strategy. For clients who had been institutionalized in a highly structured environment for up to 25 years, the prospect of moving to a more independent community setting was extremely anxiety provoking. Although inpatient staff were planning to assist in gradually transitioning these clients into housing, significant concerns were expressed about whether the project would be successful. We found that moving clients in small groups of four or five fostered a culture of mutual support, even though many clients did not have strong relationships while on the unit. Friendships emerged, along with a sense of shared experience that appeared to be very important in their tolerating the stress of extensive changes in their living environments and routines. Although a recovery model with individualized goals and program planning was used, this foundation of group cohesion has promoted greater comfort in taking risks as these individuals explore avenues of community participation, such as volunteering, church involvement, work, and leisure activities.