Among the residents at GROW is Marcus, 35, who has lived at the hostel since October. He was released from prison after a two-year sentence in April 2007, and after staying in Cheshunt either side of a spell back inside, he moved to a night shelter in St Albans before he was referred to Watford.
He said: “I’ve had my ups and downs but life is pretty good at the moment. I’m looking forward to going into detox and I want to do a plumber’s course, or painting and decorating.”
“It was strange here to start with but everyone’s friendly. It’s got a lot of camaraderie. It’s like having a house full of brothers. The staff are absolutely fantastic.”