Post #7 has absolutely "nailed it." Lyndon Johnson's Great Society has done devastating harm to the American work ethic. Studies have shown repeatedly that one ethnic families break-up began after the welfare state was created in the U.S. For, when fathers did not have to remain with their family's so that they could eat and have shelter, many irresponsible men took off.
When Ellis Island still existed, immigrants from many nations came to the United States with only the clothes on their backs and whatever little they could carry. There was virtually no welfare of any kind for these people; they went to live in the slums of New York with relatives or in some meager dwelling. Yet, many, many of these people rose economically and moved out of these slums and became worthy citizens.
Necessity makes all the difference in people's motivations. As post #7 points to, there is nowadays a sense of entitlement to welfare that some have, and the politicians who only care about votes, perpetuate this mentality and indolence.
This is not to say that help should not be given to people, but infinite "help" is not the solution to bringing people out of poverty.