There's a symbol in hobo language that means: "A kind-hearted woman lives here."
According to Kind Hearted Woman Gifts, "A century ago hobos traveled the land using a system of pictures to communicate with each other. These pictures would be carved on trees, fence posts or buildings or chalked on pavement near homes. The symbol of a smiling cat meant a 'kind hearted woman lives here.' Someone who would likely extend kindness and hospitality."
My mother has said that my grandmother probably had one of those signs up near her house, because often and often a tramp would come to the back door (always the back) and ask to work for food. She always gave them work (giving out work was a specialty of hers), and then she always gave them a plate piled high with food, that they sat on the back steps to eat.
My husband's office is in our home, so if people come to the door during the day, he's the one to answer it. He has, over the years, hired many people for similar sorts of labor, folks who were down on their luck.
Today I was reading and heard a knock at the door. It was a man who said he was homeless and wanted to work - but for food, not for money. I told him I'd ask Ken if he needed any help.
Ken declined, so I went back out and told the man I'd be glad to make him some sandwiches but we didn't need any work done. He declined, even when I tried to insist.
I'm sorry about that. But I'm glad that if there's a word on the street, it says that a kind-hearted person lives here.