Cathy Heying runs the The Lift Garage, a nonprofit auto repair shop located at the Lake and Hiawatha intersection. The mission of The Lift is to move people out of poverty and homelessness by providing low-cost car repair. The demand is so great, that even before the Covid-19 pandemic, customers would often wait three months for an appointment.
Since mid-March, Cathy and her team have had to figure out a way meet their mission while also keeping staff, vendors and customers safe. They’ve streamlined online and phone payments, set up drop boxes for keys and parts, and take extra care to wipe down every set of keys, parts, and vehicle before and after working on it.
With the waiting room closed to the public, Cathy is the only office staff on site and in addition to her normal responsibilities as Executive Director, she serves as the go-between between techs and service writers who are working from home. With two technicians on leave of absence due to high-risk health concerns, she does the occasional repair as well. Like many business owners these days, Cathy is overwhelmed and struggles to keep morale up, but focuses on the positive, stating, “I am so grateful for the team I have who are willing to come in and work hard every day under hard circumstances and risk. I'm so grateful we've found a way to keep people safe while also being here for our customers.”
Want to support The Lift? Community support and donations help cover overhead costs and are needed more than ever.
Visit https://www.theliftgarage.org/ for more information or to make a donation today.
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