A symphony of saws, hammers and drills was like the sound Handel's Hallelujah Chorus to Floyd Superior Court Judge Tami Colston and local advocate for the homeless Bill Davies Saturday.
Participants in Colston's drug court volunteered their Saturday to work on the Ruth and Naomi Project, a homeless shelter specifically for women.
Judge Colston had one particular woman on her mind throughout the day.
"We have a lady that we want to bring into drug court," Colston said. "But we require that they have stable housing in drug court and she didn't."
Colston said she believes just about everyone in her court room recently was in tears because they wanted to bring this woman into the program instead of sending her to prison.
"So our surveillance officer, Whitney Downs, she went out and started trying to find a place and she found this place that was going to open in January hopefully, but they needed help," Colston said.
The judge said once her staff and participants in the program found out opening the shelter was running a little behind schedule they decided to pitch in.
"We have a sheet rocker in our drug court so he and the rest of the guys and a girl all came in to try to knock it out," Colston said.
Nick Cantrell, one of the participants in the drug court, had over 20 years experience as a sheetrock worker. He said he wanted to help Saturday because, “I wanted to give back to the community."
That was a common theme for the crew.
Brad Hall, another participant in the program said, "it's good in the process of recovery to give back and work in service to the community."
Hall had no experience in sheetrock work but was willing to do all he could to help.
Davies said all of the work at the old Trammell Home on North Broad Street has been accomplished by volunteers. The Davies Shelter, which operates a men's home in East Rome, does not receive any local government, state or federal funds for their facilities and is wholly dependent on volunteer financial support and volunteer labor.
Project manager Marie McDonald said the house was paid for with cash on hand and to this point, no debt has been incurred doing renovations to the facility which will be able to house eight women on the first floor and four women with a limited number of children on the second floor.
McDonald said the volunteers are adding a fourth full bath to the house and once that is completed, and a sprinkler system installed, it will be ready for residents. Both McDonald and Davies said they were confident the community would step up to meet the cost of installing a sprinkler system in the facility.
“This building is going to be safe, that's our first issue. It will be safe or we won't occupy it," Davies said.
Davies said the only timetable he has is "soon."