Makai HR Delivers 1,969 Care Packages for Homeless Outreach

April 24, 2019

Makai HR, a professional employer organization (PEO) launched by HR industry veteran Dustin Sellers offering outsourced HR services, on Saturday donated 1,969 care packages to the homeless community. The donation is equivalent to the number of active lives or worksite employees (WSE - a key metric used in the industry to determine the general size of a PEO) the company has contracted in its first year in business.

“Our business helps people every single day by providing a cost-effective HR platform that leverages new technology to save our clients time and dollars without sacrificing quality of service,” said Valerie Wang, president of Makai HR. “To celebrate our one-year anniversary, our team wanted to do something that would get us out from behind our desks to help our community in a different but equally impactful way. Unfortunately, homelessness is a real and tangible issue in our community and we hope that our efforts will aid in raising awareness, while providing relief to those who need it most.”

Hawaii has the highest homeless rate per capita in the nation with 487 homeless per 100,000, according to reports from the Associated Press. Data from a nationwide homeless census called the Point in Time Count shows that although Oahu’s overall homeless population has declined over the years, the subsection of “unsheltered homeless” is on the rise.

Wang and other representatives from Makai HR presented 1,000 care packages to The Institute of Human Services (IHS) at its men’s shelter in Iwilei, followed by a delivery of 300 care packages to the Punawai Rest Stop. The remaining 669 care packages will be delivered to the Windward YMCA for its monthly Kailua Houseless Service Care event, Safe Haven, River of Life Mission, and Kalihi-Palama Health Center for its Health Care for the Homeless Project.

“With the support and collaborations of Hawaii’s business community, we are truly able to address the hunger and basic hygiene needs of our homeless clients, together,” said Connie Mitchell, executive director of IHS. “We appreciate the hard work of the Makai HR employees for their support of our organization. Their generosity will impact more than 1,000 clients who need resources and are working hard to end their homelessness.”

The care packages were assembled by Makai HR employees and included personal items and toiletries such as socks, face towel, sunscreen, Chapstick, comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as non-perishable snacks like granola bars and a snack pack. Local organization Hawaii Dental Service joined the company’s efforts by supplying the tooth brushes and toothpaste.

"Hawaii Dental Service is proud to support Makai HR with their homeless outreach efforts," said Mark H. Yamakawa, president and CEO of Hawaii Dental Service. "Providing toothbrushes and toothpaste for nearly 2,000 care packages will not only help to provide basic needs of our homeless populations, but will continue to improve the oral health of our community by helping Hawaii families live well, and smile more."

"The Windward YMCA is so incredibly thankful for the support of our community partners, like Makai HR,” said Leigh Ann Landreth, executive director of the YMCA Honolulu, Windward YMCA. “With so many people struggling to make ends meet, it is encouraging to see that together we can make a difference in the lives of our houseless community members, providing them with resources along their journey to improved well-being.”

Makai HR entered the marketplace one year ago as the newest evolution of outsourced HR services by differentiating itself with a paperless HR platform leveraging new technology to deliver a cost-effective three-tiered pricing model aimed at Hawaii’s small- to medium-sized business community.

“We were really excited to shake things up with our unique pricing model,” said Sellers. “Our focus on what’s going on in the marketplace makes us nimble so that we can adjust and always be able to offer what’s in the best interest of our clients. We don’t believe in locking anyone into a contract and we work closely with the broker community to provide the best end product for our clients, something that doesn’t typically happen in the PEO industry.”

Sellers and Wang stand behind the value of the PEO model and aim to alleviate the stresses faced by the local business owner, so that they can concentrate on growing their business while offering superior benefits and HR practices to their employees. Services include: payroll, health care benefits, workers’ compensation rates, 24/7 support, paperless cloud-based technology and HR compliance.

“As small- to medium-sized businesses grow, so will PEOs,” says Wang. “These businesses face increased competition and complexities, allowing the value proposition of the PEO model to continue to resonate with them.”

According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO):

  • There are 907 PEOs in the United States.
  • PEOs provide services to 175,000 small- and mid-sized businesses, employing 3.7 million people.
  • The PEO industry’s 175,000 clients represent 15 percent of all employers with 10 to 99 employees.

The total number of 1,969 care packages represents the number of WSEs currently contracted by Makai HR, making the company one of the largest PEOs on Oahu, larger than 75% of the PEOs in the country and one of the fastest growing PEOs in history.

Makai HR recently moved its offices out of Seller’s private equity investment firm Koa Capital Partner’s office in Aina Haina to a new dedicated space in Kaka'ako.