A building in Borehamwood has been transformed into accommodation for rough sleepers.

Shenwood Court, a former hostel, has 24 rooms that will help vulnerable people who have been sleeping rough or are at risk of doing so.

Funding of £165,000 for the project, which has involved multiple organisations, was secured from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Hertsmere borough councillor for housing, Jean Heywood, said: "This scheme represents more than just a bed to sleep in – for service users, it’s a real chance to get back on their feet.

"Through this scheme, each resident will not only be given a roof over their heads but within 72 hours they will be allocated a dedicated support worker and their needs assessed. They will then be provided with a support plan that is centred around them and works around their needs."

Shenwood Court was formerly used as a hostel but it was under-used and the council worked with charity One YMCA, Clarion Housing Group, and Hertfordshire County Council to put the space to better use in order to help more people in need.

It will also provide a complex needs support service and the council says the scheme builds on its "proactive approach" to rough sleeping, which launched with its No Second and No First Night Out scheme, aimed at ensuring no one spends a night on the streets.

Cllr Heywood added: "In the first 12 months of the pandemic, we helped provide temporary accommodation for more than 30 individuals and have already secured longer-term homes for six. For those six, particularly, the support we were able to provide them has been life-changing.

"We want to continue to reach out and support more people, who would otherwise face uncertain futures."

Mark Turner, director of operations at One YMCA, said: "The nature, amount and specialism of support provided to each of the residents in this new scheme will be not only life changing, but in many cases life saving.

"For those who have been trapped in a revolving door of homelessness for extended periods the trauma experienced presents, what to the individual can seem like, almost insurmountable barriers to progression.

"However, thanks to the amazing level of support, commitment and collaboration, we will now be able to support each resident to address that trauma as they progress actively towards independence and independent living."

The scheme was retrospectively approved by the council’s Executive at their meeting last month.