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Ogden shelter fights violence with food

OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Your Community Connection is a quiet place of refuge that is running out of room.
OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Your Community Connection is a quiet place of refuge that is running out of room.

In fact, the shelter for victims of domestic violence turned away more than 80 people in July and August.

"We were full, we had no more beds," said Julee Smith.

Smith, the shelter's executive director, told ABC4 Utah that instances of abuse often go up during the summer months.  At times that can surpass the shelter's space.

"In one day we turned away nine families and that's heartbreaking because we know the danger they're in," Smith said.

Most victims of domestic violence are women.  For some abuse could be life or death.  Right now almost 30 Utahns die from domestic violence each year and more than 2 thousand people seek shelter.  For that reason the YCC is taking a stand.

"People are dying from domestic violence," Smith said.  "Therefore, we need to make sure there are sufficient beds so these people can be safe." 

For some, that safety starts at the dinner table.

Tonight, almost a hundred men plan to man the ovens and the hors d'oevres at Ogden's Summit Hotel.  They plan to serve a meal to hundreds of paying customers as part of the Real Men Can Cook event.  For 22 years the event has raised money for the YCC, but this year funds could go the extra mile.

"We are asking people to donate," Smith said.  "We want to double the size of our shelter so we're not turning anyone away." 

If the shelter raises 1.5 million dollars the YCC will nearly double its number of beds.

Organizers told ABC4 Utah that all it takes is an appetite to help.

The Real Men Can Cook event will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Summit Hotel in Ogden.  If you are unable to attend, you can still donate to the YCC's expansion project here.  

For more on domestic violence in Utah click here.  For information on domestic violence shelters near you click here.











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