The elderly constitute a growing segment of the nation's population, but they have received a disproportionately small percentage of mental health services. To meet the mental health needs of the elderly in Milwaukee, a geropsychiatry center was opened in 1980 under the direction of the author. The center's development was based on three underlying principles: an emphasis on a biopsychosocial approach to the problems of the elderly, organization of services along a continuum of needs, and close linkages between informal support networks and the formal service system. Functional assessments on biopsychosocial and cultural factors and therapeutically oriented case management services are major thrusts of the program. The center's services, considerations in the selection of staff, funding issues, and cases seen in the first 14 months of operation are described, along with a case study illustrating the center's intervention with elderly patients.