When the St. Joseph Worker Program first partnered with the Lift Garage the Worker serving at the Garage was the face of the organization: answering the phone, writing estimates, and engaging with clients. For the Lift Garage, a non-profit auto repair shop that serves clients of limited means in the Twin Cities, having a St. Joseph Worker is essential to keeping the shop functioning and serving clients that rely on the Garage's services to get to work and for many, have a place to sleep at night.
Cathy Heying, Executive Director and Founder, loves having a St. Joseph Worker on the team because she knows that they come with a set of values that closely align with those of the Garage. She first learned about the St. Joseph Worker Program while working at St. Stephen's Catholic Church where she became friends and colleagues with many Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in the work for justice. Later she worked for St. Stephen's Human Services and had the opportunity to be a supervisor for a number of St. Joseph Workers. When Cathy started the Lift Garage it was obvious that having a Worker aligned with its mission and establishing the Garage as a placement site for the Program was an easy decision.
It's an amazing alignment and I am so grateful for it.
The St. Joseph Worker Program matches women with non-profits in the Twin Cities area to serve as volunteer interns during a year of service. The Workers serve at their placement sites for 36 hours a week and focus throughout the year on leadership development, intentional community, social justice, and spirituality. For many of the placement sites, including the Lift Garage, having a St. Joseph Worker allows for more focus on mission without sacrificing Operations and costs.
The role of the St. Joseph Worker at the Lift Garage has developed beyond being the front face of the organization but is still important to the life and success of its work. Partnering with the St. Joseph Worker Program allows the Lift Garage to focus on what matters: putting down deeper roots in a neighborhood focused on rebuilding based on justice, equity, and inclusion. As for the future, Cathy hopes to continue to find creative ways to expand the Garage's services to better serve the people of South Minneapolis and continues to invite the wider community into the work of addressing the transportation inequities that exist in our communities. She looks forward to continuing to partner with the St. Joseph Worker Program, in whatever capacity the Garage requires.
From the left: Cathy Heying, Executive Director of the Lift Garage; Cathy + a group of St. Joseph Workers attend a basic car class at the Garage; Brooklyn Vetter, 2015 Worker at the Garage with Cathy.