February 21, 2024


Reinvent your ride!

Minister mechanic marks 10 several years serving to all those in want

4 min read

Cathy Heying founded The Carry Garage in 2013 to help auto entrepreneurs who couldn’t pay for pricey repairs.


This tale originally aired in 2014. 

Founder of The Elevate Garage, Cathy Heying, is marking the business’ 10th anniversary in a new spot, now with 15 workers and 5 company bays.  

The former pastoral minister states her mission has not modified, as she’s nevertheless serving to persons who can not manage to correct their vehicles at a conventional shop. Just 14 p.c of Lift’s spending plan is produced by fix service fees — the relaxation will come from grants and private donations.


You may come across Twin Towns auto fix outlets that focus in mufflers or transmissions, but only just one devoted to Cathy’s mission.

By any good logic, Cathy Heying has no company being flat on her back, eradicating the rusted shocks from a 10-12 months-outdated Saturn.

“I’d in no way drained a radiator. I would never put in a battery. I would never completed any of this,” she stated with a smile.

Heying invested her occupation executing social get the job done. She holds a master’s degree in pastoral ministry and performs as a human rights advocate at St. Stephen’s Human Companies. It was there she experienced her light-weight bulb moment.

“I just kept jogging into people today with some variation of the same tale in excess of and about once again,” she reported.

The people today Heying spoke of were being lousy. In some situations, they ended up also determined immediately after their aged automobiles — the only form they could manage — broke down, demanding highly-priced repairs.

Heying saw the vicious cycle that adopted.

“‘I need to have my vehicle to get to operate. I are unable to get to get the job done. I miss work too several times in a row. I am going to eliminate my task. If I lose my job, I am not going to be in a position to shell out my hire and I am likely to stop up in a shelter.'”

So what is actually a pastoral minister to do? If you happen to be Cathy Heying, you enroll in vehicle mechanics faculty.

“These are impression sockets,” points out Heying as she types as a result of the absolutely stocked cabinet of mechanic’s equipment she now owns.

“I’m definitely uncomplicated to invest in for at Christmastime now,” she laughed.

Heying knew little about autos when she commenced down this highway, but immediately after two a long time and $36,000 in tuition — half-financed through university student financial loans —  she graduated from Dunwoody Institute with an associate of arts diploma in automotive company engineering.

“We have to just take care of each and every other,” she stated, “and for appropriate now, the way that appears to be for me is The Elevate Garage.”

The Elevate Garage opened for business in April 2013 in a area Heying rented at Dan’s Nicollet Car or truck Clean in south Minneapolis. She opened one working day a week at first, but recently hired a further Dunwoody grad, John Buttner, as her first comprehensive-time mechanic, permitting Heying to be open for business enterprise Wednesday via Saturday.

Prospects conference minimal-earnings thresholds pay out for parts and $15 an hour for labor. At common restore shops, $100 an hour is prevalent.

“If I had been to do this at market premiums, it would not be completed,” explained Judy Hegrenes, whose motor vehicle experienced been parked considering the fact that Might because she couldn’t afford to pay for the repairs. “I completely phone Cathy and John angel mechanics.”

Heying opens the hood on an more mature Dodge Neon.

“This vehicle belongs to an elder girl who is disabled,” she claims.

The Neon has been sitting down for two years with repairs the operator could not manage.

“If you might be residing paycheck to paycheck, a $300 or $400 car or truck restore can just upset the total residence of playing cards,” mentioned Heying.

Linda Granger was sent to The Raise Garage by a social employee. She’d been residing in a 20-12 months-outdated Chevy pickup with a broken heater. The Elevate Garage mounted the heater, put in a new timing belt, replaced the brakes and did other assorted get the job done, all at the price of $600. Granger is shelling out down the stability at $20 a month. She states the exact same work would have price tag her at minimum $3,000 at a typical shop.

“You can find no way since I was unemployed,” claimed Granger. “If it was not for Cathy at The Elevate Garage, I never know what I would have finished.”

With additional mechanics demonstrating up to volunteer and other individuals featuring to assist in the workplace, Heying is hoping to broaden her several hours yet again, Monday by means of Saturday, later on this 12 months.

The pastoral minister is now paging as a result of scripture with grease beneath her nails.

“Sometimes our position is just to get out of the way and stick to where you are being known as,” she says.

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