April’s story is an example of someone successfully moving themselves from government dependency to self-sufficiency with the help of a Missouri nonprofit. This video from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) highlights April and her success:
According to FGA’s article:
April O’Neill was an addict serving a 72-hour community service sentence for shoplifting when she first came to Watered Gardens Gospel Rescue Mission in Joplin, MO. After spending more than a decade on government assistance, the Mission challenged her to give up her benefits and embark on a new path of self-reliance.
Following a childhood mired in drug use and poverty, April first began using when she was only 11 years old and started receiving government assistance when she was just 16 years old. Her experience at Watered Gardens showed her a better way for her to choose a free and dignified life.
“Watered Gardens taught me how to take care of myself and my family,” she explains. “They taught me how to budget my money. They taught me how to take care of myself as opposed to leaning into government assistance and using money from the government that I really didn’t need if I would have just gotten up and applied myself.”
The video highlights the struggles April dealt with during her life and how she became addicted not only to drugs and alcohol but also to government welfare dollars such as food stamps from the time she was 16 up until the age of 30. She explains how the help she received from these government programs without having to work actually helped allow her to continue these unhealthy habits.
She credits Watered Gardens Gospel Rescue Mission in Joplin, MO for saving her from government dependency and substance and for teaching her to become self-sufficient.
A new report by FGA found that after Kansas passed and implemented significant welfare reforms including requiring able-bodied childless adults to engage in work related activities have helped to move people off of welfare and out of poverty.
They found that, “The incomes of Kansas families who left TANF more than doubled in the first year, and eventually more than tripled. In total, families are now earning $48 million per year more than they had on welfare.” FGA points out that as a result having “Fewer able-bodied adults dependent on welfare allowed Kansas to better focus resources on the truly needy.”