Maddox, CEO of Fredericton Homeless Shelters, first met Mim 30 years ago at a local coffee shop. He defined her as “a wonderful person with a big heart”.
Maddox said Sims was a teacher’s assistant at Connaught Street School and also loved the arts.
According to her obituary, she worked as an Administrative Assistant in Ottawa at the Malaysian Embassy and then for nearly two decades at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters.
She eventually returned to her home in Fredericton where she owned a retail store, Second Time Around, and studied pottery before moving on to elementary education.
Now, her legacy will continue as her former home on Aberdeen Street, aptly named Mim’s House, has been converted into apartments for people without permanent housing.
The house was owned in later years by Fredericton City Councilman Jason Legon, who used to serve on the board of Fredericton Homeless Shelters. It was purchased by that group and renovated into two one bedroom apartments.
The apartments will soon be occupied by two people listed on Name List, a playlist for the homeless in Fredericton.
Tenants have moved through the Fredericton Homeless Shelter Model of Care, which Maddox said includes stabilization and evaluation.
“[They’ll] They still have all the shelter support to help them go from a kind of falling in and out… to a kind of complete independence,” he said.
Watch | ‘LeMim’s Legacy:’ Warren Maddox explains how PeteMim will allow people to gain independence:
Maddox said the tenants will remain on the housing listing and there will be a fixed term for how long they will stay in the apartments.
If something emerges in terms of a permanent apartment that suits their needs, the tenants will move into the new space.
Tenants will pay a service fee to Fredericton Homeless Shelters each month and the Department of Social Development provides rental subsidies for both apartments.
There are plans to purchase more units in the future.
“We just really need housing,” Maddox said. “In terms of our big long-term plans and everything else, our job is to get people to live.”
So far, neighbors have been welcoming, which Maddox credits with the shelters’ reputation.
“What we don’t want is to continue to perpetuate the stigma surrounding homelessness,” he said. “We come to the neighborhood quietly and we want to be quiet, good neighbors.”
When he attended his old friend’s funeral, Maddox said her friends were happy to hear that her former home had been converted into apartments by Fredericton Homeless Shelters.
“I suspect [Mim would be] Maddox said.
“I’m sure she’s looking down and clapping her hands.”