Pinellas Safe Harbor
Pinellas Safe Harbor is a cost-effective shelter and service headquarters for homeless people involved in the criminal justice system in Pinellas County. It is also a portal for inmates re-entering our community from the Pinellas County Jail (PCJ).
Pinellas Safe Harbor opened January 2011, and the primary objective of the shelter is to keep Pinellas County's homeless population out of the criminal justice system. Pinellas Safe Harbor provides 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 in the Jail reduces, resulting in significant savings to taxpayers.
Pinellas Safe Harbor is operated by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the Pinellas/Pasco Public Defender's Office, WestCare Foundation, Metropolitan Ministries, Pinellas County Health and Human Services, Directions for Living, and the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board.
The total capacity for Pinellas Safe Harbor is 470 with an average population of 400. Men and women share common facilities during the day but are housed in separate housing units at night. Intake staff completes an initial assessment of each homeless person’s appropriateness for the facility.
Pinellas Safe Harbor's operational costs are offset by monetary donations from participating cities, civic groups, and citizens that have contributed significantly to the program.
Internal security is provided by G4S Services (contractor). Facility perimeter security is maintained by existing Pinellas County Jail perimeter patrols. There are five community policing deputies assigned to roving shifts at Pinellas Safe Harbor. These deputies assist in law enforcement matters at Pinellas Safe Harbor and provide the surrounding community with dedicated service. Additionally, there is a Street Outreach Program community policing deputy based out of Pinellas Safe Harbor who works with a Directions for Living social worker.
• Three hot meals, prepared at Metropolitan Ministries or partnering churches, are served daily.
• Donations of new socks and underwear are provided to residents when they're available, and racks of donated clothes are also available for use. CLICK HERE for a list of acceptable donation items.
• There are washers and dryers on the premises so residents can do their own laundry.
• Homeless clients who are employed or require transportation to employment or medical appointments will be accommodated as it is feasible.
• Loaner bikes are available for residents to check out.
• The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) buses stop near the shelter, and PSTA route maps are available at the shelter.
• Groups: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, HIV awareness, various worship and religious services, etc.
• Classes: Parenting, Life Skills, Walkwise-Pedestrian Safety, Jobs for Life, and Ready to Rent.
• Medical services are provided onsite at the Bayside Clinic through Pinellas County Human Services Monday through Friday. Residents receive basic health care and referrals for medical, dental, and mental health services.
Residents are asked to help maintain the facility with assistance from inmate workers from the jail.
In addition to the team of case managers who are onsite to guide the residents through their transition to permanency and self-sufficiency, Pinellas Safe Harbor works with:
• Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Social Workers – needs assessments, coordination of services and placements, mental health and substance abuse referrals
• Public Defenders Office Homeless Outreach Diversion – Assessments for homeless ordinance violators, Public Defenders Office connection
• Westcare – Substance abuse evaluations, substance abuse counseling, recovery services