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Sheriff invites public to meeting at Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless facility | Community Spirit

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Sheriff invites public to meeting at Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless facility
Sheriff invites public to meeting at Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless facility

Pinellas County, FL - Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats is inviting residents, business owners and anyone interested in the new Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless facility to attend an informational meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the facility, located at 14840 49th Street North, which is a former Pinellas County Jail Annex II being re-configured to serve as a shelter and social service headquarters for homeless persons who otherwise would be involved in the criminal justice system - a decision met with considerable controversy.

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New homeless facility could open in St. Pete by Jan. 1stThe facility will also be used as a portal of re-entry into the community for those persons released from the Florida Department of Corrections and the Pinellas County Jail.

The concept is the result of a collaboration between the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, various stakeholders in the criminal justice system, and other governmental entities throughout Pinellas County.
 
The primary goal of Pinellas Safe Harbor is to divert these individuals (who would otherwise be in jail) from the criminal justice system, and provide them the assistance they require to be self-sustaining, productive citizens.

Plans are underway to open Pinellas Safe Harbor in January. The facility capacity is about 500 beds, but all beds will not be open initially. The intent is to phase-in the total population over time.

The Sheriff has invited the public from surrounding communities to attend this information session to learn more about the the purpose of Pinellas Safe Harbor, to ask questions, and to tour the facility.

Deputies will be posted at the 49th Street entrance of the facility to assist with parking for the meeting.

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