(RTW Vet Center Garden Sign)
Equality vs equity what’s the difference? Well when it comes to health, you want equity over equality since equity is about giving everyone a fair advantage since some people need more help than others. In other words, health equity means to me that you do not give the same treatment and resources to all people, but instead you adapt the resources and treatment you give depending on which places are more in need of it.
On Thursday June 23rd, I visited an RTW Veteran Center located on 5536 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60637, the center gives housing and treatment to former veterans who have nowhere else to go. The center is an idea of health equity because such an institution would most likely not be needed in an area where a lot of the residents are affluent and doing well for themselves. The center focuses on health equity to its community because it not only provides housing and food to former veterans despite their discharge, but also they feed members of the community with their public community garden where anyone can come in and pick fresh vegetables and fruits. The garden is a good idea to the Washington Park community because while walking around and speaking with residents in the neighborhood apparently does not have its own grocery store making it a food desert.
Since Washington Park is a “food desert” the garden is an idea of health equity because something like this would not be necessary for a neighborhood like Hyde Park where there are like 4 or 5 grocery stores. People may believe health equity may not be achievable since it will maybe cost more to help those who need it more than others, but the RTW vet center is volunteer run meaning none of the workers are getting paid. Even though none of the workers are getting paid the center is still up and running because of the dedication of the community to care and look after one another.
The story of the RTW veteran center is a story of health equity and so much more because if the center decided to not accept veterans who were dishonorably discharged they would be able to accept federal funding, but because the center believes that all people deserve a chance to recuperate and receive help to assimilate back into the everyday world they refuse to turn their back on anyone asking for help…which is…health equity.