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Local Color

Best Proof That You Don’t Need a City Government

Photo: PHOTO BY Willie Allen Jr., License: N/A

PHOTO BY Willie Allen Jr.


Transformation Village in Bithlo
18415 11th Ave., Bithlo; ugo2.org

Bithlo started out as a planned community, but instead of becoming an early version of Baldwin Park, the municipality defaulted on some loans and then was hit hard by the Great Depression. Cue losing your city government and being kicked out of the county by scared politicians and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a community with no zoning, no services and no funding for basic necessities. United Global Outreach, a nonprofit organization led by Tim McKinney, saw that the Bithlo residents needed some help, swooped in, and the rest is history. They provided free dental care, started a school, held free weekly community meals and now are launching a whole series of improvements based around what they call Transformation Village. All of this has been done in only a few years and without the aid of a municipal government.

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