Calgary

Mustard Seed founder Nixon retiring

Pat Nixon is leaving after 26 years as founder and chief executive officer of the Mustard Seed, which provides emergency shelter for homeless people in Calgary, among other services.

The founder of the Mustard Seed is retiring.

Pat Nixon is leaving after 26 years as founder and chief executive officer of the Christian street ministry, which provides emergency shelter for homeless people, among other services.

Nixon, who is from Vancouver, was himself homeless as a 12-year-old boy, and was in an adult prison at age 16.

After serving his prison term, he returned to Calgary, and started volunteering at an inner-city coffeehouse ministry. He started the Mustard Seed in 1984, when he was only 24 years old.

His goal when he started was to care for the homeless.

He's succeeded in that goal, said Fred Weiss, who is on the Mustard Seed board of directors.

"If you look back over 26 years and what Pat has built here, he's done an incredible job — made the Mustard Seed a leader, an innovator in helping the homeless, and he has just laid such a strong foundation."