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Following a three-month interruption of onsite care at Unity Place of Monmouth due to Covid-19, staff are looking forward to welcoming clients back.  The staff have greatly missed the clients and very much and look forward to their return. Clients in the substance use program will be the first to return, their first day being July 6. Mental Heatlh patients will continue with telehealth treatment until they are able to return.

Program Director Lorraine Laura quoted poet Maya Angelou in urging clients to accept trials beyond their control. Lorraine said, “As we all await the return of our Unity client family, we hope they have fared well during this Covid Storm “event” that just appeared, and that, in the words of Maya Angelou, ‘Decide not to be reduced by the events that happen to you,’ those we cannot control.”

For the returning clients, Unity will resume providing transportation assistance to clients who require it. Unity will abide by CDC guidelines and New Jersey State/Governor’s mandates, which include but are not limited to the use of masks, practicing six-feet social distancing, and maintaining daily sanitary and disinfection standards throughout the day.

Anytime a client or visitor enters the Unity Place building, a Covid-19 questionnaire and temperature check will be required. Additionally, staff and clients are undergoing Covid-19 testing to ensure negative results to ensure safe transition back to program.  Any staff or clients who feels unwell will be – as under normal circumstances – encouraged to stay home and seek medical guidance. Telehealth services are being maintained in addition to offer on-site supports to assist with clinical needs, especially given concerns surrounding overall health and wellness.

Unity Place staff will, of course, also observe the strict health protocols and precautions and will also submit to testing prior to the clients’ return. The building has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Staff will continue to utilize technology and work with telehealth and other platforms to continue to provide remote treatment to clients who are still at home. Unity Monmouth will increase the number of clients in the building based on the mandates provided to us.


The counselors of Unity Place of Monmouth certainly miss their clients, something that is amplified by the fact that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. They decided to post some messages containing good mental health practices and words of encouragement to help see clients through the challenges presented by the coronavirus.

Program Director Lorriaine Laura posted a reminder to clients that “lots of love gets us through anything.” Lorraine lavishes love on Unity’s clients, and when clients are able to return to on-site counseling, they know they can expect a hug from her.

Assistant Director Donna Frances had an in-depth posting that emphasized the importance of daily routine. She provided a thorough list of activities and ideas to help clients fill their days. Donna’s list of daily structure to nourish mental health include waking and going to bed at similar times, eating well, regular exercise, and making time for hobbies and activities the client enjoys.

Donna encouraged clients to stay in touch with others (via Zoom, Google Meets, etc.), and to help others whenever possible instead of focusing on oneself. She also urged clients to minimize time on newsfeeds that will only add to anxiety at time when stress is not in short supply. And she impressed on substance clients to continue to take their medications as prescribed.

Outreach Supervisor Jamie Paris in her posting wrote that clients should prioritize their mental health.

One of the counselors reminded clients that health is about how they think and feel, not just about how they are doing physically. Another posting by a counselor advised clients to “seek out the small joys every day,” something to keep in mind coronavirus or not


As widespread and disruptive as the coronavirus and its fallout have has been, Unity Place of Monmouth staff from are doing all they can to stay engaged with the facility’s clients, who are being treated remotely until the crisis abates. In the two months since the virus required Unity Place to suspend on-site treatment of for mental health and addiction disorders, Unity Place staff from Program Director Lorraine Laura on down have shown their creativity and resolve in maintaining a close ties with clients.

Early in the crisis, the facility’s director, Lorraine, was calling most of the mental health clients. As staff have gradually come back to work, the counselors are now making many of those calls. On the substance use side, Assistant Director Donna Francese has made calls to the substance use clients and conducted individual sessions with them by phone.

Outreach Supervisor Jamie Paris and Outreach Coordinator Renee Holder have been paying visits to group homes to drop off supplies to help lift the clients’ spirits while treatment at the Unity facility is on hold. Among the items they are bringing to the residences are food, hygiene supplies, crosswords puzzles, coloring pages and crayons.

Jamie and Renee have also sent the group homes’ personnel thank you cards to let them know how much Unity Place appreciates their taking such good care of all the clients.


The following is list of resources and digital meetings for Unity clients for them to turn to while they are unable to attend in-person meetings due to the pandemic.

The first link is for open all-recovery meetings, which means people in or supportive of recovery from any type of behavioral health disorder or quality of life concern are welcome. No matter the program, pathway, or type of recovery you are in, this is a meeting for you. As a reminder, we typically introduce ourselves as “Hello, My name is ____ and I am a person in recovery”, but feel free to identify however is comfortable for you.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance online support groups:


County-specific Resources

Monmouth County
(732) 222-3030: Monmouth Medical Center – Mobile Screening.
(732) 923-6999: Monmouth Medical Center – Crisis Hotline.
(732) 776-2325: Jersey Shore Medical Center (Neptune) telephone and in-person crisis services

Ocean County
(732) 886-4800; Kimball Medical Center; phone and in-person crisis services
(732) 886-4474; Community Medical Center; phone and in-person crisis services

Other Resource:

Smart Recovery

Refuge Recovery

Virtual NA

In the Rooms: and online recovery community

Article about non 12 step/AA/NA Fellowships/Groups/Organizations/Communities


Mental Health/Other Support groups:







By Lorraine Laura, Program Director

The safety and well-being of clients, families and employees has always been and will continue to remain a top priority at Unity Place.

As such, under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and state and local officials, we have implemented a number of precautionary measures within our program in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

Because our treatment facility, will remain open and active for as long as deemed safe and appropriate, we believe it is important to communicate the steps we are taking to help keep our clients, families and employees safe and healthy.

  • The program is assessing and evaluating incoming clients by inquiring about travel during the previous 14 days, other potential exposure to COVID-19 and presence of flu-like symptoms or flu prior to admission, and we will for the time being deny admission to those who have screened positive
  • We have been communicating actively and daily with our employees and clients relative to proper hygiene including frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer regularly and to stay home if they feel ill or are demonstrating signs of illness such as fever, cough or shortness of breath
  • We screen all clients daily for fever, cough and shortness of breath
  • Our maintenance and housekeeping departments have increased their sanitization efforts in client and employee areas as well as on our vans.

We will remain open and continue to provide care until directed otherwise by the Government.

Should any client stay home due to having symptoms please advise or have a family member advise the Program Director, Lorraine Laura immediately at 848-208-2636 EXT 304

We will continue to closely monitor updates issued by the CDC, WHO and state and local authorities surrounding COVID-19, and will follow all recommended steps to ensure the continued safety, health and well-being of our clients, families and employees.




At Unity, our goal is to provide a therapeutic environment where each client can learn how to successfully handle life’s challenges.

Contact Us

1075 Stephenson Ave.
Suite C
Oceanport, NJ 07757


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Copyright by Unity Place of Monmouth County 2018. All rights reserved.