Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

Someone rings your doorbell and says "I'm hungry. Can you spare a meal?" What do you do?

Asked by Jeruba (51915points) October 2nd, 2017


(a) Come in and I’ll set a place for you.
(b) Get lost or I’m calling the cops.
(c) Wait here and I’ll bring you something. (With a napkin and a glass of milk.)
(d) There’s a sandwich place around the corner. Here’s ten bucks.
(e) You can clean up the yard for me, and I’ll see what I can do.
(f) Would you like me to adopt you?
(g) [Other]


Tags as I wrote them: goodwill, feeding the hungry, begging, panhandling, sharing, enabling, hard to know wtf is the right thing to do

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

This opportunity presented itself to me, only not at my own home, in Detroit many years ago. I was on a business trip, and left the hotel to walk to a nearby fast food joint for a quick bite.

Some young guy – about my age; I was young, too – approached politely and asked for a couple of bucks for a meal. So I invited him to join me, and we ate together.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’d give him/her a meal. I don’t know that I’d invite the person in unless my husband was here, but we have a table and chairs outside the front door. I’d ask them to take a seat and bring them some food. Then I’d sit down with them and try to find out what’s happening. Why are they so down on their luck they need to beg for a meal? If they can’t find work, perhaps I’d offer them some work to do. If not, I’d just listen and hopefully show that I care. Perhaps try to find them some support services information so they can seek some assistance. I might let them use my phone to call them.

There but for the grace and all that…

AmIMoreThanYouBargainedForYet's avatar

A. But i’m a child so idk my opinion is probably wrong.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@AmIMoreThanYouBargainedForYet, you aren’t wrong. Just because you are a child doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to an opinion. Choosing to feed someone in need shows you have a good heart. All I would add is, if you are alone in the house, you shouldn’t let strangers in. Whether they be a nice lady in a dress and hat, a man in a tailored suit, or someone down on their luck asking for food.

ucme's avatar

D) Order Carstairs to slam the door in his face

MrGrimm888's avatar

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t answer the door. It’s not a bright idea. Yes, it would be nice to help them, but this is not a fantasy world. Someone with no food is desperate. Desperate people can be dangerous.

If circumstances dictated that I was starving, I would take food from someone, or some store. I might end up in prison for it, but I’m not starving. If it’s you, or me, it’s gonna be you. Think that’s unethical? Let yourself go without food for two days. Then check your moral compass again. Then go another day. Check it again.

People with good hearts are great. But many people would take advantage of them. I have a good heart, but I also have a brain. I’ve lived in some pretty bad neighborhoods. If you let the wrong people know what you have in your home, there’s a chance you come home to a robbery scene (been there.) Some of the places I lived, I moved in in the dark. If I bought something new, I don’t dare leave the box outside for trash pick up because then people know I have it.

If it’s someone on the street, that’s different. But don’t come knocking on my door.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We are so off the beaten path it would be very strange for someone begging to walk here and knock on the door.
I would likely not open the door. I can think of many ways the encounter could end badly.

flutherother's avatar

My grandmother died sixty years ago but I still remember being told how a tramp came to her door once saying he was hungry. My grandmother felt sorry for him and prepared some sandwiches which she gave to him. The tramp thanked her for her kindness and left. Later she found her carefully prepared sandwiches stuffed into a garden hedge uneaten.

jca's avatar

I’m like @LuckyGuy. I’m somewhat in a rural area where it’s not likely someone is walking around my area unless they’re from the area, and so I never get anybody knocking on my door unless I expect them or it’s a politician looking for a signature.

I’d probably open the door to see what the person wanted, and then I might give them something (after closing the door and having them sit on the deck and wait) or I might say no, depending on the circumstances. They’d not be invited into my house, no matter what they looked like. I’m a single mother with a young daughter and I am not taking any chances.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Am I home alone?

I would find him something to eat and give it to him at the door.

tinyfaery's avatar

C. But I would ask them to walk away from my house and wait on the sidewalk and then go out to give it to them.

Mariah's avatar

C or D.

tranquilsea's avatar

It would honestly depend on the vibe I was getting from the asker.

Good vibe may get invited in and fed. Iffy vibe gets food at the door.

CalHoncho's avatar

With discernment and my weapon on my mind, I would supply their need. Situationally dependent on if they sat at my table or not.

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