The Lift Garage

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.

Willing to help our cause?

Auto repair at The Lift is the vehicle for repairing lives. We’re changing the world one car at a time.

The Lift Garage is an affordable, non-profit auto repair service for Minnesotans of limited means. It's an innovative idea that meets a pressing need.

Since opening our doors in 2013, support from our community has made it possible for us to expand the services we provide. In addition to low cost car repair, we also offer free pre-purchase inspections of cars, express services to replace light bulbs, wiper blades, batteries, and free regularly scheduled car-care classes.

The Lift continues to grow steadily, and these numbers keep rising, but demand is so great that customers have to wait six months for an appointment.

Minneapolis Non-Profit Auto Repair

The lift garage’s story

Working with people experiencing homelessness, longtime social worker Cathy Heying repeatedly saw how devastating the prohibitive cost of commercial car repair could be. In a domino effect, people who couldn’t afford to get their cars fixed couldn’t get to work and so lost their jobs. Without jobs, they lacked the money to pay for housing and ended up in shelter.

It was also evident that many people who could not afford the cost of commercial car repair, felt that they equally could not afford to stop driving some very dangerous vehicles. Too often they spent a bleak Minnesota winter living in cars without brakes or heat.

Cathy went back to school to earn a degree in auto technology. In April 2013, with board members, donors, and volunteers to back her, The Lift opened for one day a week with one repair bay and one volunteer mechanic.  Since opening our doors, support from our community has made it possible to greatly expand the services we provide.  In 2018 we moved to our current location and now have 5 repair bays and employ 5 full-time auto technicians.

Since opening in 2013 we have

Served over 1,400 customers

Completed 3,000 Repairs

Saved $1.1 Million Dollars!

Changing the world by Helping the ones in need

Almost as important as car repair is The Lift’s commitment to hospitality. The community of The Lift provides a protected space where people are listened to and treated with respect. We provide toys and books for their waiting children.  And always have coffee, tea, and snacks available.

Auto repair at The Lift is the vehicle for repairing lives. We’re changing the world one car at a time.

Help us build better lives for the people around us


There are many ways you can support the services that The Lift Garage provides.

  • Make a monthly sustaining gift. A monthly sustaining gift helps us budget more effectively and provides important ongoing support of our work.
  • Make a one-time donation. We are always grateful for your support in any dollar amount.
  • Find out if your employer matches donations!


The Lift Garage would like to express our gratitude to these businesses for financial and in-kind support work!

Floyd LogoStandart Heating LogoFrankies Towing LogoLuther Logo  Kukui Logo

The Lift Garage is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call The Lift Garage (612) 866-5840 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.