Once-Homeless Authors of New Cookbook to Participate in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
Book Includes Foreword by Mississippi First Lady Marsha Barbour; All Proceeds go to Charity
Gulfport, Miss. – In conjunction with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week November 12-20, Changing Lives Press is proud to announce the successful launch of the new book Mailbox Muffins and Other Recipes from the Gulf Coast Homeless.
This unique and highly-commended book has been featured on Fox News, WLOX-ABC TV, and the Martha Zoller Show. Its contributors are once-homeless Hurricane Katrina survivors now living in the Oregon Place apartment complex in Gulfport, Mississippi. Since the book’s recent launch, they have been sharing their creative and tasty recipes with audiences across the country, and discussing their past experiences as homeless Americans.
From November 12-20, the contributors will participate in events for National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which is sponsored the week before Thanksgiving, in a nationwide effort to raise awareness for hunger and homelessness.
All proceeds from the book go to further the mission of Oregon Place, a recent experiment in low-income housing supported mostly through private donations. More information on the book can be found at www.MailboxMuffins.com.
One of the book’s main contributors, Bobby Kelly, has held book signings and done televised cooking segments as part of the launch. Kelly is a current Oregon Place resident who was living in a tent just outside Gulfport when Hurricane Katrina hit. He miraculously survived by clinging to the porch of a nearby house, and is now pursuing his high school equivalency while living at Oregon Place.
In TV segments and in the book itself, Kelly and his fellow Oregon Place residents share their methods for cooking on a budget, such as using cans for cooking pots, discarded mailboxes as ovens, and tuna containers as muffin tins.
The book includes a foreword by Mississippi First Lady Marsha Barbour, who recounts her time on the ground during the early days of Hurricane Katrina six years ago and how that experience changed her life. Mrs. Barbour also praises Oregon Place for the opportunities it has provided the homeless.
Oregon Place—the brainchild of developer William Richardson of Jackson, Mississippi—offers apartments to homeless Gulf Coast residents, many of whom would otherwise be sleeping in the woods. It is not a homeless shelter, but has income-based rental rates that tenants can qualify for by earning less than 50 percent of the area median income. Nonprofit agencies work with the tenants, helping them sign up for the support and training they need to regain financial independence and permanent homes.
Mr. Kelly and other authors will be available for local and national media appearances and news segments during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Interested bookers should contact Mark Pfeifle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-850-6058 to schedule interviews.
Changing Lives Press is a publishing house focused on books about lives that have changed and books about how to change lives. Additional information can be found at www.ChangingLivesPress.com.
EVENTS AND MEDIA
Monday, August 15, 2011.
- Press release: New Book by Hurricane Survivors Features Low-Cost, Creative Recipes. Includes Foreword by Mississippi First Lady Marsha Barbour; All Proceeds will go to Charity.
Thursday, August 25, 2011.
- CELEBRATION HONORING THE MAILBOX MUFFINS BOOK RELEASE AND THE RESIDENTS OF OREGON PLACE. Residents of Oregon Place Apartments and community members are invited to learn more about Mailbox Muffins book and see and taste some of the recipes from the book. 4:00 – 6:00 P.M. Knight Nonprofit Center, 11975 Seaway Road, Gulfport, M.S.
- Mississippi Public Radio Interview.
- American Tonight with Kate Delaney national radio program.
- WLOX TV, ABC Channel 13, Biloxi. 5:45 and 6:30 A.M CST.
- Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel. Note: due to Hurricane Irene this interview been moved to September 4.
- Book signing. Lemuria Book Store. 5 :00 – 7:00 P.M. 202 Banner Hall, 4465 I-55 N., Jackson, M.S. (601) 366-7619.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011.
- Book signing. Lorelei Books. 4:00 – 6:00 P.M. 1103 Washington St., Vicksburg, M.S.
Saturday, September 10, 2011.
- Bobby Kelly and William Richardson In-studio interview with Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel.
New cookbook gives recipes of the South MS homeless
August 25, 2011 7:24 PM EST
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
South Mississipians who once lived on the streets are sharing their stories of survival in a new cookbook called Mailbox Muffins and Other Recipes From the Gulf Coast Homeless.
The cookbook includes dishes like tuna surprise, pork and beans salad, and hot pork and crackers. The former homeless people also write about coming up with creative ways to cook food like using a mail box over a pit fire as an oven. Hence the name Mailbox Muffins.
All the recipes in the cookbook come from residents of Oregon Place Apartments in Gulfport. An organization called Mississippi Cares International helps people transition from homelessness to independence.
Bobby Joe Kelly enjoys having his own kitchen but during his eight years of living in the woods, he often had to use his ingenuity to eat a hot meal.
“Most of the stuff you get from the food pantry is just water mix.,” said Kelly. “You just mix it with water and bake it.You don’t have to use no eggs, milk, nothing like that.”
Oregon Place Apartments is where homeless people can go to make a fresh start. Tenants can move into completely furnished units. That include everything down to the spoons and forks.
William Richardson of Mississippi Cares International said. “We’re providing a hand up, not a hand out. As long as you’re trying to make something better for you and get back on your feet and get to be an economic independent person, we’ll be there with you.”
“But if you want to come here and sit on the front steps and do nothing all day, there’s somebody that needs help worse than you,” Richardson said.
Mississippi Cares International doesn’t require tenants to pay deposits or utility payments, but they must be good neighbors.
“We’ve got to fit in. We can’t be judged by a few,”said Richardson. “So we have a no drug policy. We can by our lease randomly drug test anybody that wants to live here. We have a no alcohol on premise rule. You will be in job training or increasing your educational skills is you live here.”
Kelly became homeless after cataracts cost him his job. He’s telling his story because there are too many misperceptions about the homeless.
“You don’t see us. We’re not there,” said Kelly. “You see us but you don’t see us. And that’s what’s bad.”
Kelly is working on his GED and grateful for the chance to again have a roof over his head. Mississippi Cares International officials said they partner with several other non-profits to provide social services for tenants. That way they can try to address any issues that may have contributed to them becoming homeless.
Oregon Place Apartments” is made up of 14 four-plexes. The residents’ new cookbook includes a forward from Mississippi first lady Marsha Barbour.
Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.
Here’s another great article, as published in the Biloxi/Gulfport Sun Herald:
New cookbook offers thrifty recipes from homeless
By ANITA LEE
GULFPORT — Coast residents who were formerly homeless have put together a cookbook that will raise money for the apartment complex where they found homes.
The cookbook, “Mailbox Muffins and Other Recipes from the Gulf Coast Homeless,” will be released Friday.
The cookbook contains some unorthodox recipes that demonstrate how inventive a cook can be when money is limited. Don’t have a pot? No worries.
“Mailbox Muffins” will tell you how to cook in a can. It includes a tasty recipe for muffins made in tuna cans. No oven? Try an old mailbox.
“There are lots of cookbooks that raise money for the homeless, but none with recipes by the homeless,” said Francesca Minerva, of publisher Changing Lives Press. “Not only does it show readers how to make some delicious meals on a budget, it will also warm your heart.”
Mississippi’s First Lady, Marsha Barbour, wrote the book’s foreword. She recounts the days after Hurricane Katrina and talks about the recovery programs that resulted.
Oregon Place in southeast Gulfport was purchased and renovated with about $2.5 million in recovery funds. Rent is income-based at the 55-unit complex.
Tenants must earn less than 50 percent of the area median income to qualify.
Marsha Barbour concluded in the forward to the homeless cookbook: “The Coast continues to recover, and projects like Oregon Place are giving people a chance to remake their lives and take a step toward a brighter future. This book of recipes will benefit the mission of Oregon Place and help its residents.”