Back in the 60's, and yes I remember them, the Federal government took over the care of the poor.
Before that help was local. The Township passed out government "Commodities" to those who applied. Sacks of flour and cornmeal, canned meats, dried beans, rice, and so on. Enough for the family to get throught the month. Many churches had a family or two they supported, and many a Sunday a member would rise and offer that "Brother Jones" was short of coal or heating oil, or couldn't pay his light bill. The hat was passed and someone would offer a truck to haul the coal, or go take the money to the Jones'.
By being local the people knew who was in trouble for real and who was just a lay about.
Mr Johnson declared war on poverty and his weapon was money. By giving them money they weren't poor anymore.
In those days a presidential election was something you turned out for. The war was recent memory, Korea still in the news, with missles in Cuba and proxy wars of liberation everywhere, the world seemed a dangerous place for freedom.
But as people became comfortable, and they no longer were reminded of the needs of their neighbors, they turned inward. As they turned away from the outside, and the poor no longer felt driven to provide for themselves, they lost interest in anything that did not enter their living rooms. Including who runs the country.
Every year the number of voters has dropped. Even this last election was down. Apathy will bury this country. And when it falls those who have built their lives on the public dole will fall the farthest. Charity cannot support them all.