SEVERAL concerned groups have joined forces in the fight to tackle homelessness in Stourbridge.

Stourbridge Community Development Trust, Made in Stourbridge and Katie Fitzgerald's are launching a new fundraising initiative to help support the creation of a homeless advocate in the town.

It is hoped that a full time advocate would provide support and signposting for rough sleepers and those already on a journey to a more sustainable future in society.

Eddy Morton, one of the driving forces behind the idea, said: "It's a situation that we shouldn't have to be doing this, but it's a situation that we haven't seen in Stourbridge before.

"We talk to Dudley Council and they are doing their best. In fact they are one of the better local authorities. The situation is a great deal worse in other areas of the country.

"We're concentrating on people that have already gone through some form of crisis and we want to get their lives back on track.

"We'll be attempting to get these people back into a normal life and to give them hope."

The groups propose to support the position of a homeless advocate by staging fundraising events, obtaining grant funding and using revenue from commissions through the Made in Stourbridge shop.

Money raised from the annual Katiesfest taking place at Katie Fitzgerald's in Enville Street, Stourbridge, this weekend (Saturday May 25 and Sunday May 26) will go towards the initiative. Acts set to take to the stage at the event include: Giant & The Georges, red:line:ratio, Bleeding Hearts, Jess Silk, Freeborn Rising, Hannah Crawford Music and many more.

A raffle will also be held at the Made in Stourbridge shop - and funds will be raised at Stourbridge Blues Festival, featuring Ian Parker, on July 21.