An initiative is to launch to support at least eight rough sleepers and get them back on their feet.

An intervention programme, Housing First, will launch tomorrow (October 10) to help homeless people in St Albans and Dacorum.

It is being run by Hightown Housing Association on behalf of St Albans City and District council and Dacorum Borough council.

The programme has been financed by a £100,000 grant from a Government fund to help the homeless and will be used to support eight to 12 people sleeping rough.

As part of the 12-month scheme the staff and volunteers at St Albans homeless shelter, Open Door, will help them identify their goals, improve their well being and integrate them back into the community.

St Albans City and District Council cabinet member responsible for housing, protection and inclusion, Cllr Jacqui Taylor, said: “The overarching aim of Housing First is to give rough sleepers a fresh start in life.

“They often have difficult backgrounds, addiction problems and complex needs and this scheme recognises the support needed as well as ap lace to call home.

“It offers rough sleepers intensive help to recover from any problems they have, to enhance their skills and to take on the responsibility of a housing tenancy.

“It is an opportunity for them to make a positive, long-term change and move forward with their lives.

“We will work closely with Hightown, which is leading the project, and Dacorum Borough council on this initiative in the months ahead to make sure it is a success.”

The council carried out an annual count last year of rough sleepers in the district and on one night estimated 11 people were sleeping rough.

Cllr Taylor said: “The figures we obtained for rough sleepers is only an estimate and I believe the true, current figure is certainly higher.”