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Sarasota Friday, May. 2, 2014 3 years ago

City Commission to examine Pinellas shelter statistics

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

As the City Commission moves toward potentially addressing regional homelessness issues by helping to construct a come-as-you-are shelter, it’s received another piece of information to consider during the process.

Pinellas Safe Harbor, constructed in Pinellas County with the assistance of homelessness consultant Robert Marbut, has been pointed to as a model for a potential Sarasota shelter as Marbut consults with the city and county. As a result, Independent Police Advisory Panel chairwoman Eileen Normile obtained a copy of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office statistical summary operations reports for the shelter from 2011-2013.

The reports are new to the city, and highlight a wide variety of information regarding the Pinellas shelter. In 2013, the shelter took in an average of 1278 individuals each quarter, serving 382,150 meals during the year. On average, only 4 individuals per quarter left for a housing opportunity or because they completed an offered program, with the vast majority leaving the shelter because they missed curfew.

The full reports, which can be found on the city website, will be discussed at Monday’s City Commission meeting.

"Although this information had not been previously shared with the City, it is being forwarded now as city and county leaders continue their strategic thinking on how best to address the challenge of chronic homelessness in Sarasota County and implement the Marbut recommendations," City Manager Tom Barwin wrote in an April 28 memo to the city commission.

Also on the agenda for Monday’s meeting:

+ Staff will present commissioners with a status report on the Lift Station No. 87 project.
+ City Attorney Robert Fournier will lead a discussion on the city and county open burn ordinances.
+ Students from Ringling College will give a presentation about a collaboration with the Sarasota Police Department, focused on developing a brand for the SPD and redesigning the department’s website.

The full agenda can be found on the city’s website.

Contact David Conway at [email protected]

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