Give where it will make a real difference

The Strand BID team would like to urge business owners not to give recycled material to homeless people and in the same light, also help to discourage members of the public to give money to beggars. “In both cases, this humble gesture causes more harm than good”, says Gene Lorentz, manager of Geocentric Urban Management.

Gene says that by giving money to people begging, in whatever form, causes them to stay on the street without trying to find jobs and create better lives for themselves. It is easy to collect money or material which they can recycle for money and live of that for a day. The next day they do the same. It is just not sustainable.

He is a great supporter of the Give Responsible campaign, an initiative of the Central City Improvement District [CCID]. The campaign urges the public to rather give their money or donations to NGOs such as shelters of halfway houses that are helping provide people living on the streets with warm beds, hot meals, family reunification services, trauma therapy and the necessary life skills to help them built a new life for themselves. For more information on the Give Responsible Campaign, go to




Business owners are also discouraged to appoint informal car guards to look after their property or cars of their customers. A lot of criminals nowadays will pretend to be car guards, but in fact using this pretence to commit crimes by breaking into cars, assault drivers or work with syndicates to steal cars.

Gene says that by employing people without any formal credentials, such as a valid identification document or proof of address, could put you in a predicament and expose you to become the victim of a crime. Rather be safe than sorry and make sure all your employees are credible people with traceable identification documents.