|Pinellas Safe Harbor (“The Harbor”) is a cost-effective shelter and service headquarters for the criminal justice system involved homeless in Pinellas County, as well as a portal of reentry for inmates reentering our community from the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Pinellas County Jail (PCJ).
The primary purpose of Pinellas Safe Harbor is jail diversion—that is to keep the homeless out of the criminal justice system. The Harbor will provide these men and women with a safe environment while they pursue services needed to get back on their feet. As a result, the population of ordinance violators, and non-violent offenders would be reduced in the Jail, at a significant savings to taxpayers.
Pinellas Safe Harbor is operated by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County Government, various Pinellas County cities, and several community based social service and homeless assistance organizations.
The shelter opened to a limited number of criminal justice involved homeless persons on Thursday, January 6, 2011. Eventually, The Harbor will be a portal of reentry for those homeless persons released by the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) and the Pinellas County Jail. The DOC and Pinellas County Jail releases will be housed separately from the homeless population.
The total capacity, which can exceed 250, has been phased in over time. Men and women will share common facilities during the day but will be housed in separate housing units at night. Adjustments to shelter operations and service schedules will be made as necessary.
Pinellas Safe Harbor start-up and staffing funding totaling approximately $1.8 million is primarily from federal funds, grants, contributions by city partners, including the City of St. Petersburg – not from the Pinellas County General Fund. Generous monetary donations from other participating cities, civic groups, and citizens have contributed significantly to the operation.
|Internal security is provided by G4S Services (contractor). Facility perimeter security is maintained by existing Pinellas County Jail perimeter patrols, which are backed up by deputy sheriffs who routinely patrol the surrounding community.|