Pinellas Safe Harbor is an emergency homeless shelter and the result of a series of partnerships involving the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County Government, and numerous homeless service providers in Pinellas County. Safe Harbor is also a jail diversion program, which means that part of the organization’s mission is to keep people who live homeless out of the criminal justice system by providing services and tools when they require immediate shelter and other assistance to keep them safe.
One of those services is the result of a partnership between Pinellas Safe Harbor and Bike/Walk Tampa Bay. A WalkWise or BikeSmart presentation is given each week to the people seeking refuge at Pinellas Safe Harbor. The presentations are part of a larger safety initiative to reach all Tampa Bay Area community members. Education is a vital component in helping pedestrians and bicyclists to walk and bike safely and defensively.
People attending the presentations learn how to be visible as both pedestrians and bicyclists. “We discuss Florida laws and give pedestrian and bicyclist safety tips that are important for safely navigating our streets,” says Julie Bond, Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Program Director.