While working as the Director of Social Justice at St. Stephen’s Church in Minneapolis, Cathy Heying observed a continuing problem among the working poor in the church’s neighborhood:
- A poor person’s car would break down and they would not have the money to repair it;
- Lacking dependable transportation, he/she would be unable to get to work and lose their job;
- Unable to pay the rent, they would become homeless.
She initially thought: “Somebody really should do something about this.” And then she thought: “Maybe that somebody is me.”
Cathy took the unusual step of enrolling in a two-year technical college to learn auto mechanics. It was a difficult experience for a 38-year-old social worker who knew very little about automotive repair. But she got through it with the help of an instructor named Dave Duval (who is also interviewed in this episode).
Following graduation, she founded an extraordinary non-profit called The Lift Garage. According to the organization’s mission The Lift Garage is a 501c3 nonprofit aimed to move people out of poverty and homelessness by providing low-cost car repair, free pre-purchase car inspections, and honest advice that supports our community on the road to more secure lives.
In 2015, Cathy Heying was named a CNN Hero which raised the profile of the organization nationally. But Cathy was already a hero to the men and women of the Twin Cities who rely on her and The Lift Garage to help them make a living and live a better life.
Click here to learn more about The Lift Garage and how you can help support their mission.