A volunteer group in Waterloo region is making a desperate plea to help Ukrainian refugees.

Waterloo Region Grassroots Response says there's a renewed need for housing, as an expected influx of young newcomers is seeking shelter in Southern Ontario.

The group adds that a nonprofit in Peel Region, which helps youth experiencing homelessness, is bracing for their provincial and municipal funding to be cut in mid-June.

WR Grassroots is bracing for a spillover and hoping to help re-home 51 Ukrainian youth.  

"They tried to coordinate resources locally for two weeks," said Stephanie Goertz of WR Grassroots. "They happened to hear about us through word of mouth. They called us up, and what are going to say, 'no we can't'? Absolutely we have to help. There's no pause. IF someone is going to be homeless or someone has to be helped, we will figure out a way."

The group says they haven't coordinated how they will be able to help yet, but have promised to, and are now issuing a plea for housing.

Many of the 51 youths have found employment and alternative housing arrangements. The remaining 16 youths from Ukraine will be moving to Waterloo region shortly.

There are currently 186 hosts locally who have volunteered to open their homes, but more are needed.

The group is looking for residents who are willing to host newcomers in their home, or potentially a vacant house or apartment they own.

Goertz says there are some bonded pairs of youth who would like to stay together during the move.

It's unclear how long each newcomer would need shelter for.

Financial donations are also welcome, as WR Grassroots offers tax receipts.