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Book details
  • Genre:COOKING
  • SubGenre:Methods / Outdoor
  • Language:English
  • Pages:108
  • eBook ISBN:9781618423733

Mailbox Muffins

And Other Recipes from the Gulf Coast Homeless

by The Homeless of Oregon Place

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Mailbox Muffins is a compilation of recipes written by the homeless people of Oregon Place. All proceeds go to The Oregon Place Apartments. The Oregon Place is not a homesless shelter, but it does offer apartments to homeless people who might otherwise be sleeping in the woods. The apartment rent is income based.Tenants must earn less than 50 percent of the area median income, which is $26,250 for a family of four, to qualify. The nonprofit agencies work with tenants, helping them sign up for the support and training they need to regain financial independence and permanent homes. Leases at The Oregon Place run six months, with no deposit.
“Mailbox Muffins and Other Recipes from the Gulf Coast Homeless” was developed by Gulf Coast residents like Bobby Kelly as a testament to their ingenuity and pride, even in the worst of situations. Every dollar earned will be used to further the mission of Oregon Place. On August 28, 2005, a 28-foot storm surge crashed onto the Gulf Coast, delivering 55-foot sea waves and hurricane-force winds. Miraculously, in the woods just outside Gulfport, Miss. amid broken trees, debris and devastation, a tiny tent survived. For more than 8 years, it had been the place that Bobby, an out-of-work laborer and his girlfriend, Jennifer, called home. They didn’t have a radio, so they never knew the storm was coming. Throughout the night, they managed to survive by clinging to the porch of a nearby house. The next day, when the winds calmed and they returned to their tent, it had somehow survived. Today, Bobby and Jennifer live in a modern, air-conditioned apartment in Gulfport’s Oregon Place, where Bobby is working on his high school equivalency. He and Jennifer are making a new and better life, just like thousands of their fellow Mississippians. Folks like Bobby don’t waste anything. Cans are used as cooking pots, and a discarded mailbox placed above a cook fire became their improvised oven, into which tuna fish cans filled with donated mix became containers for muffins. Hard as life has been for Bobby, he’s one of the lucky ones, and he knows it. Statewide, Katrina killed at least 235 people.Oregon Place has given Bobby, Jennifer and countless others a chance to do just that. It’s an innovative new experiment in low-income housing, supported mostly through private donations. It affords proud, determined people to remake their lives, finish their educations and move toward a better tomorrow.
About the author
Oregon Place was established to provide transitional workforce housing for homeless people so they can live in a safe and secure place while learning basic skills and/or a trade that can be used to re-enter the work place and regain their place in society. The use of an apartment complex offers many benefits to the homeless. Residents now have an address—something required on a job application, or to obtain an ID; they can cook in an oven and not over a fire; they can enjoy safe, secure, warm and dry sleeping conditions. The residents of Oregon Place have moved from the woods and homelessness into dignity and self-respect. Working through case managers from other Non Governmental Originations (NGOs or non-profits) that serve the homeless population, Oregon Place residents are assisted in many social, health, and educational areas. The NGOs that manage the residents currently have federal grant monies for homeless rental and they pay the rent and utilities for the residents.