SAVE, Inc. Blog

Featured Manager of the Week: Scout Desimio

What motivated you to get involved with SAVE, Inc.?

SAVE gave me the opportunity to work with two of my favorite populations: Queer youth & folks with Severe and persistent mental illness. It’s a small organization, so it allows me to use my expertise and impact how we do our programming. That way, we do good, evidence-based work for the communities we serve.

What is your position title?  What is your favorite part of your job?

Residential Program Manager. My favorite part of my job is trying to House Kansas City!! In this job I get to do it all: evaluation, writing, community building, crisis intervention, team-building, training, consulting, advocacy, and the occasional art project. I wear a lot of hats!

What are you most passionate about when it comes to SAVE, Inc.?

I really believe that SAVE Inc. has the capacity to House Kansas City. The work that SAVE does holistically addresses the issue of houselessness, from preventing folks from becoming unhoused, to providing emergency housing, and developing affordable, quality housing for folks to live sustainably with dignity.

What is something you want Kansas Citians to know about SAVE, Inc.?

We’ve been here since 1986!! We were founded during the AIDS Crisis alongside other amazing orgs in KC. SAVE has been housing people with dignity for over 30 years, especially the LGBTQ+ community. There is a ton of history in all of our buildings.

Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

Steps LGBTQ+ Workers Can Take If They Experience Discrimination in the Workplace

By Employment Law Help

Even in 2023, many LGBGTQ+ individuals still face discrimination in the workplace. According to the latest studies more than 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ people have experienced discrimination in the workplace and for many of those people that discrimination has impacted their financial well-being. They were either fired or forced to leave a job because of the discrimination against them.

But LGBTQ+ people are protected in the workplace by Federal laws against discrimination at work. The Supreme Court expanded the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act so that they include gender identity and orientation as well as race, religion, sex, and place of birth. That means your employer is breaking Federal law if they engage in or allow discrimination, including harassment, of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace.

If you’re a victim of workplace discrimination because you are LGBTQ+ you can file a complaint against your employer with the EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC investigates workplace rights violations in all states, so it doesn’t matter what state you live in. And in 44 states the EEOC will share their findings with the state authorities so that the state can decide if they want to investigate your employer too.

Examples Of Workplace Discrimination

There are many ways that LGBTQ+ people are discriminated against at work but some of the most common ones are:

Not Paying LGBTQ+ Employees Equally

You can’t be paid less than other employees who are doing the same job just because you are LGBTQ+. And you also must be given raises that are given to everyone like COLA raises each year. If your employer offers overtime, you must have the same opportunities as other employees to work overtime at overtime rates.

Targeted Bullying or Harassment

Bullying and harassment are unfortunately the most common types of discrimination that LGBTQ+ workers face. But you don’t have to put up with it. Your employer and coworkers are not allowed to use offensive or derogatory language about LGBTQ+ people, promote offensive stereotypes, ask invasive questions, or in any way create a hostile work environment where you don’t feel safe. They also can’t leave you out of work events, trainings, meetings, or other work related events that impact your ability to do your job. If you are experiencing bullying, make sure to gather evidence at the time each incident occurs. Take photos, screenshots, videos, and save documents that are discriminatory.

Cutting Hours And Scheduling

Hourly workers often find that their hours get cut or shifts are rearranged after they come out at work. If this happens to you save your schedules, pay stubs, and any communication you have with your supervisor about scheduling.

What To Do Next

Anytime you experience discrimination at work try to grab the evidence of that incident at the time it happens. Gather up emails, documents, screenshots, and a list of the incidents of discrimination you’ve experienced along with the names of people involved. Take those to your employer and demand that the discrimination stop. If your employer didn’t know you were being discriminated against they should immediately take steps to stop it. If they don’t, or if they knew and let it happen, you should go to the EEOC’s website, or your local state labor agency where you can open a complaint against that employer by writing a right to sue letter.

Remedies For Harassment And Discrimination

LGBTQ+ victims of discrimination at work may be eligible for lump sums of money for pain and suffering as well as money for lost wages, salary increases, or other money they should have gotten as part of their job.


Featured Manager of the Week: Jessica Ross

What motivated you to get involved with SAVE, Inc.?

I got involved with SAVE , Inc. in 2015.  I knew several people who already worked for this agency and they spoke highly of it.  After doing some research, I really felt like the mission statement of Save aligned with my own personal beliefs. Having worked in the field of social services for 20+ years, the one aspect that is in short demand amongst the low-income and disabled population is affordable housing.  When an opening became available, I saw that as my opportunity to actively involve myself in housing the hard to house.

What is your position title? What is your favorite part of your job?

I am the Operations Manager for Save Inc. and Save Property Management LLC.  I started out as a Housing Specialist, then I became a Housing Inspector for this agency. When the Property Manager position became available in 2018, I promoted to that.  In 2021, I became Operations Manager.  In this role, I supervise the Property Manager, maintenance technicians, and custodian staff.  I ensure that our properties are being well maintained, overall. When I’m not attending to the physical upkeep side of things, I work with HUD to ensure we remain in compliance and that our funding is consistent.

What do I like about my job? I really enjoy working with my team.  They are compassionate, competent individuals.  Seeing how things operate, behind the scenes, has given me a greater appreciation for those that do the cleaning and repairing. Without them, we couldn’t function. Every day I am reminded that there are no inconsequential positions.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to SAVE, Inc.?

I am passionate about creating quality housing that is affordable and attainable.  Everyone deserves safe, secure, and sanitary housing. There are very few agencies like ours that provide housing to thousands of individuals-through our Managed Properties, RESCA Programs, Voucher Programs, and drop-in shelter.  When you apply for housing, typically, there are background, credit, and income criteria to meet-thus ensuring that a significant portion of the population doesn’t qualify.  By being able to remove most of those criteria, we are able to provide housing to those who would otherwise be unhoused.

What is something you want Kansas Citians to know about SAVE, Inc.?

Housing is a basic human right and it should be available to everyone, without exceptions.  Most housing programs require that an individual has to be “stable” first-sober, mental health issues addressed, etc. However, when you are unhoused or housing insecure, it’s extremely difficult to be stable in other aspects of life.  Having somewhere safe to go gives people a solid base to grow from.  We believe that meeting the need for shelter fosters stability in other areas of one’s life. 

Featured Manager of the Week: LeAnn Williams

What motivated you to get involved with SAVE, Inc.?

I found out about SAVE, Inc. through my work with another social services agency.  I was really touched by the message of equality and inclusion that SAVE, Inc. strives for, and I wanted to be a part of something bigger in the community!

What is your position title?  What is your favorite part of your job?

I am the Program Manager of Supportive Services.  My team and I provide case management services to our clients in our permanent supportive housing and transitional housing programs.  My favorite part of my job is building unique relationships with the people I serve and being able to provide them with the level of care and compassion they deserve!

What are you most passionate about when it comes to SAVE, Inc.?

I am most passionate about building up clients’ support systems through the communication and collaboration that takes place between SAVE, Inc. and other agencies/organizations in the community. “It takes a village!”  

What is something you want Kansas Citians to know about SAVE, Inc.?

I want KC to know that SAVE, Inc. celebrates everyone who works with us and those we serve.  We are more than just a housing agency – we are a safe space.

Featured Manager of the Week: Toni Casey

What motivated you to get involved with SAVE, Inc.?

I could easily write a full page regarding how I ended up working with SAVE. However, in summary; I was managing a building in Kansas City a few years ago where I rented to a handful of clients who were a part of our Voucher Program. Through this, I met a Housing Specialist with SAVE, Inc. who made a huge impact on my life. I fell in love with these clients and SAVE’s mission in general. I went on to apply for different positions with SAVE, Inc. a couple times over the years until I finally got my foot in the door!

What is your position title?  What is your favorite part of your job?

I am the Program Manager of Managed Properties for SAVE, Inc. My favorite part of the job (or one of them, I’ll say) is my relationship with our clients. This job allows for me to meet so many amazing individuals who I otherwise may have never crossed paths with.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to SAVE, Inc.?

Providing housing for a population who is often under-cared for is rewarding in itself and something I believe is necessary. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to genuinely making a difference in people’s lives who have unique struggles. Working for SAVE specifically allows for me to tend to both aspects of support- housing and mental health! It’s not often that you find a landlord that not only provides quality housing, but truly cares for their residents. And to me, that is a must. Housing is such an intimate job; I cannot comprehend getting in to this field and not having a passion for helping others. So, I suppose you can say I am passionate about SAVE Inc.’s drive to go above simply putting a roof over one’s head, but truly making a home for them.

What is something you want Kansas Citians to know about SAVE, Inc.?

SAVE, Inc. dabbles in so many areas that provide support for the community and I think that often gets lost in the “behind the scenes” of everything. Between providing emergency services all the way to permanent housing- there is always a way we make an impact. I just want Kansas Citians to know that we are a resource hub.