OGDEN -- A woman called Your Community Connection's Domestic Violence Shelter last year and told workers she had 45 minutes to get out of her home.
She said she was scared and she had nowhere else to go.
But the shelter was filled to capacity, and workers asked her if she could get to another shelter.
The woman said she had no transportation.
"She had to call three times before we could take her," said Julee Smith, director of YCC. "Our nightmare is that something will happen before we can take them in."
The woman was just one of 136 with similar stories whom YCC turned away last year, all for the same reason. There was no room.
YCC, which is the designated domestic violence and rape shelter for Weber and Morgan counties, will be launching a capital campaign next month. The goal is to raise more than $1 million to expand the shelter by nearly two-thirds and to beef up security.
"We can't be too safe," Smith said.
She noted that in addition to leaving victims at risk, the shelter also is in danger of losing grant funds if it can't find a way to better serve the population, which has grown significantly in half a century.
Planned is a complete remodel of the three-story facility, converting offices now on the second floor into shelter bedrooms and moving those offices to the first floor.
"Money is the key here," Smith said. "We have to have money to start."
But the director said she has faith that the money will come, because the Top of Utah is a community that has already donated $54,000 without a capital campaign even being launched.
Smith believes the shelter's capacity of 26 will grow to about 72, depending upon the individual needs of the clients who are served.
And there also will be rooms capable of holding men who are in domestically dangerous situations.
Currently, abused men who turn to the shelter are put up for a few days in a local hotel as funds permit.
"Nobody should have to worry about being beat up, period," Smith said, noting the stigma associated with men who are abused.
Peg Coleman, executive director of the Utah Domestic Violence Council, said the Ogden shelter isn't the only one turning away victims of domestic violence.
"We're stretched very thin," she said. "People don't realize how badly underfunded our shelters are."
And Coleman said homicides in domestic violence situations are the most predictable homicides.
She said of all the homicides in Utah last year, 60 percent are known to be related to domestic violence. She believes that statistic would be even higher if all domestic violence-related crimes were added in.
For instance, she said the two Powell children who died in an explosion set off by their father were not added into that statistic because they did not die in Utah.
And she said their mother, Susan Powell, was not added in either, because her body was never found.
"The key is to work with these folks before it gets into the criminal justice system," Coleman said.
"It will be so nice if we can do their eligibility and say come on in," said Angelique Becherini, interim manager of the shelter.
She explained that going to shelters in other communities often is not an option for women who are in trouble at home, because they still need to meet other obligations, such as employment.
Becherini said she would be glad after the remodel to be able to have a private room to complete intake on those entering the shelter.
"If you are coming from a domestic violence situation and you come into a situation that is noisy and chaotic, it can be overwhelming," she said.
Jamie Beck, who runs the center's domestic violence outreach, started working at YCC in August after serving an internship at the Safe Harbor shelter in Bountiful.
Beck said, "Their (Safe Harbor) shelter is a lot bigger and can serve a lot more people."