Pinellas Safe Harbor

Pinellas Safe Harbor is an emergency homeless shelter and a jail-diversion program designed to be a safe haven for people who are homeless and require services to get back on their feet.

14840 49th Street North, Clearwater, Florida 33762

Mission

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 Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Pinellas County Jail (PCJ).

The primary purpose of Pinellas Safe Harbor, which opened in January 2011, is jail diversion — that is, to keep the 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 City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County Government, various Pinellas County cities, and several community-based social services and homeless assistance organizations.

Capacity

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.

Expenses

Pinellas Safe Harbor start-up and staffing funding, totaling approximately $1.8 million, is primarily from federal funds, grants, and 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.

Security

Internal security is provided by G4S Services (contractor). Facility perimeter security is maintained by existing Pinellas County Jail perimeter patrols. There are five deputies, funded by the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services grant, are 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. 

Services

• 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, Coping, HIV Awareness, Worship Services, Orientation to Pinellas Safe Harbor, etc.

• Classes: Skills for Successful Transition, Life Skills, Vocational Rehabilitation, Work Ready, Pedestrian Safety, and Budgeting.

• Medical services are provided onsite through Pinellas County Human Services Monday through Friday. Residents receive basic health care and referrals for medical, dental, and mental health services.

Maintenance

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

Volunteer

Pinellas Safe Harbor always needs volunteers for:

• Clerical and telephone assistance

• Meal delivery and cleanup

• Donated clothing sorting and distribution

Volunteers and citizen groups interested in working with the homeless are encouraged to contact the Pinellas Safe Harbor shelter administrator at 727-464-8058 for more information.

If your group or organization is interested in volunteering for the transportation and serving of evening meals at Pinellas Safe Harbor, please contact the Metropolitan Ministries coordinator of community partnerships at 813-209-1039. For all other food-service inquires, please call 727-464-6340.

Thank you to the following organizations that currently provide meals to Pinellas Safe Harbor residents:

• Metropolitan Ministries

• Suncoast Haven of Rest Rescue Mission

• Heritage United Methodist Church-Suncoast Cathedral Assembly

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Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911