David M Awadalla


Welfare Benefits Given to Disable Veterans

Approx. 1800

This included financial supports and pensions for disabled veterans--often referred to as the 'worthy poor'.

Dorothea Dix: An Advocate for the Mentally Ill

Approx. 1844

In March 1841, the famous Dorothea Dix by chance visited the East Cambridge, Massachusetts, jail and was shocked at the deplorable treatment of the insane inmates.
Dorothea Dix was the original pioneer that advocated for the mentally ill and disabled. She lobbied for better conditions in psychiatric institutions, across the United States, and was a voice for those that were often neglected.

Social Welfare


From 'Work Yards' to 'Poor Houses'

Approx. 1880 - 1890

Attempts were made to move poor people from work yards to poor houses if they were in search of relief funds.

Social Security Act of 1935

Approx. 1935

The Social Security Act of 1935 altered the total plan of helping persons in need.
This marked the first time the federal government assumed major responsibility in assisting the needy.

Social Security Bill: Passed by the Roosevelt Administration

Approx. January, 1935

On January 17th, 1935, in the midst of The Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration passed the Social Security Bill---which includes the original requirements for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or "welfare," and other relief programs such as old age benefits, unemployment insurance and aid to the blind.

AFDC Payments

Approx. December, 1940

360,000 families begin receiving AFDC payments.

AFDC Recipient Growth

Approx. 1960 - 1969

The number of AFDC recipients grows by 800,000 families.

Public Welfare Amendments of 1962

Approx. 1962

President John F. Kennedy signs the Public Welfare Amendments of 1962 into law, encouraging states to provide social services leading to self-care and self-support.

Economic Opportunities Act


Economic Opportunity Act passes Congress promoted as President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty." This act is one of several social programs that came to be known as the "Great Society."