Salvation Army Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. — There has been a flurry new activity behind the scenes at the Salvation Army in Tacoma lately, and Social Services Director Heather Wiley has Valeo Vocation to thank.

“I can’t say enough about what they’ve put in,” she said.

Through a strategic partnership between the legacy social services organization and new social enterprise Valeo Vocation, Wiley has a constant stream of new workers to keep Salvation Army operations running smoothly, and Valeo clients are gaining valuable work experience. From Wiley’s standpoint the workers from Valeo Vocation are just like any other Salvation Army volunteers, although on much more consistent schedules. But through a generous contract and shared vision with the city of Tacoma, Valeo workers getting valuable work experience are being paid a fair and competitive wage.

“It gives them a sense of pride. I love having them here,” Wiley said of her first round of workers from Valeo.

The Salvation Army serves as a great place for Valeo clients who are experiencing homelessness and may not have had true employment for a while.

Workers are able to start at just a few hours per week and increase as they are ready. Wiley says their contributions are invaluable to the Salvation Army, and serve as crucial job experience for Valeo clients who are often dismissed by other employers because they may be experiencing homelessness or live at the City of Tacoma’s Stability Site.

“Giving them that second chance they have jumped in full force,” Wiley said. “Being from the stability site I don’t want them to feel like they’re judged. They’re treated like anyone else.”

Wiley encourages other employers to partner with Valeo Vocation and hire these hard workers.

“We all are part of the community that needs to lift each other up,” she said.

“They are eager to please and do a good job. They’re going above and beyond. They’re trying to prove themselves so you’re going to get a great employee.”

If you’re an employer interested in making a difference in the community, consider partnering with Valeo Vocation.
Contact us to learn more.


Valeo Vocation is a new nonprofit social enterprise in Tacoma, WA focused on helping those experiencing homelessness obtain stable employment and permanent housing. At Valeo Vocation, our name defines our values. Valeo is Latin, meaning strong, well, healthy, having worth. Vocation is employment for which a person is suited and trained, and which is regarded as worthy and requiring dedication.

Valeo Vocation strives to see our clients, customers and community be strong and healthy. We believe that every person has intrinsic value, and a special purpose for which they are uniquely suited. When a person is working in their purpose, they are inherently strong, and contributing not only to their individual wellbeing, but making their entire community a better place.

Valeo Vocation is a unique social enterprise which reduces homelessness in our communities through an innovative and sustainable model which provides up to 80% of gross revenue to operate. The rest is through generous donations from community members who also want to make a difference. If you'd like to donate or get your business involved click here.


Valeo Vocation is a Washington Nonprofit Corporation, under fiscal sponsorship of Cardo Community, a Section 501c3 nonprofit. Your contribution may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes. Donors are encouraged to consult with their tax advisor or the IRS to determine whether a contribution is deductible.