Tuesday, February 9, 2016

MOHA Scale

The Owens MOHA* Scale

Inspired by the Wheaton Eco Scale

10 - Star Trek
9 - Hugo Chavez
8 -  Robin Hahnel               
7 -  Dr. King              

6 - It's the economic system, stupid

3 - Teaching to Fish

2 - Nobody Cares

1 - It's not a public safety issue

0 - Feeding 

-1 - It's a serious public safety issue

-2 - Are there no workhouses?

-3 - It's their own fault (anger/guilt/disgust)

-4 - Beat up a hobo as a teenager

The Owens MOHA* Scale

The scale is relative, and to be applied only to the homed.  People below zero are reactive; they're not really thinking about homelessness.  Those at zero and above may admire those operating one or two levels up, and consider those at lower levels to be ignorant.  They tend to view those operating at three levels up as unrealistic or lacking in compassion, and four or more levels up as extreme.

Awareness in the Owens MOHA scale is a function of understanding, intention, and action.  Possible attributes at each level: -4 writes hateful comments about poor people in social media -3 gives a dollar to a panhandler every now and then and tries not to think about why -2 won't give a dollar because it'll only go for drugs or alcohol -1 lives comfortably in an urban setting but finds homeless people a little scary 0 - volunteers once or twice a year at a warming center, food bank or meal program, may carry socks, toiletries and granola bars in the car 1- volunteers regularly at a food pantry or meal program, is beginning to see poverty's different demographics, may read an occasional article about homelessness, wants more people to care about homelessness 2 - frustrated about the lack of resources and cooperation between agencies, beginning to research what other communities are doing

[The vast majority of Americans are clustered between -4 and 2.]

3 - has learned what basic services are available in the area and the difference between emergency shelter, transitional, permanent, and permanent supportive housing, actively promotes affordable housing development, expanded health insurance coverage, access to public education, progressive taxation and infrastructure investment and is concerned about contributing to poverty cycle, may be engaged in a community garden, Habitat for Humanity project, or mentoring at-risk youth, youth in foster care, or young parents 4 - has begun to build on experience and implement innovative approaches to entrenched problems on a human scale 5 - has begun thinking and innovating on a systems level 6 - has realized the whole situation is the inevitable consequence of capitalism 7- is willing and able to articulate the truth and call for social justice 8 - has begun to develop an alternative to the capitalist economic system 9 - understands power and has begun the struggle to implement an alternative system on a national level 10 - has implemented the vision of a future without poverty, going where no one has gone before.

*MOHA stands for Measures of Homeless Awareness.   

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