An open house will be at 10 a.m. on Monday at the shelter on the First Baptist Church of Woodstock property at 89 Hickory Flat Highway/Highway 140 near the Marietta Road intersection in Canton.
Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood addressed the need for a shelter to house the homeless during extreme cold weather during a city council meeting following last month's ice storm. He said having a shelter available is a "life safety issue."
Hobgood said he's excited to see the shelter become a reality, noting the city government only brought together different agencies so the need could be met.
"The credit goes to the nonprofit agencies," he said.
The city has been working with the church and MUST Cherokee on the shelter with the idea the two work together to make sure there are volunteers for the shelter. He said he hopes the operational details will be worked out on Monday.
Randy Richardson, a volunteer with the church, is leading its efforts to renovate the buildings on Hickory Flat Highway for a church and outreach programs.
Space in one of the buildings will be used for the cold weather shelter. That space is ready for use, with renovations on the church space to start today.
"There was just a need in the community," he said about including a shelter in the renovation. "We all saw the need, and it just happened."
He said an informational meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the shelter for anyone interested in learning more about volunteering.
"We want to let the community know that it is available," he said about holding the open house.
Canton Fire Chief Dean Floyd said city emergency personnel will provide transportation for people needing the shelter when it is activated during specific weather conditions.
"We know where to go" to find homeless people who would need shelter during very cold weather, Floyd said.