|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. The harbor partners with the Florida DOC & The Pinellas County Jail ensure that Pinellas County residents have a safe place to receive services and seek shelter if they are homeless.
Total capacity for Pinellas Safe Harbor is 470 with an average population of 400. Men and women share common facilities during the day but will be housed in separate housing units at night. Pinellas Safe harbor operates a 1.6 million dollar budget provided by the Sheriff’s Office, which is offset by municipal and community contributions.
Pinellas Safe Harbor start-up and staffing funding totaling approximately $1.8 million primarily from federal funds, grants, contributions by city partners, including the City of St. Petersburg. 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. There are five deputies assigned to roving shifts at Pinellas Safe Harbor which are funded by The Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services grant. These deputies assist in matters at Pinellas Safe Harbor. But, also provide the surrounding community with dedicated service.|