In response to a recent cold snap, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon last night opened a work camp to the homeless at the county’s North Charleston detention center. Five showed up, a spokesman said today. 

Temperatures plunged into the 10s and 20s across South Carolina yesterday, and today are hovering around the low 30s in Charleston.

The work camp at the Sheriff Cannon Detention Center on Leeds Avenue in North Charles served as an impromptu homeless shelter in conjunction with a Lowcountry service provider, a spokesman said. 

“The Detention Center will offer this service to anyone who doesn’t have a place to go to protect them from the extreme cold weather,” Major Eric Watson told media last night.

He couldn’t immediately give details about the five homeless people who spent the night there. The camp’s doors will also be open tonight, Watson said.

“Law enforcement serves a multitude of purpose for the community … this being one of them,” he tells the City Paper. “We not only uphold and enforce laws, we also protect the vulnerable and the less fortunate among us. Providing a warming shelter is our way of offering a service for the community during extreme cold weather conditions.”