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    In this episode, we bring you a presentation that was delivered as part of the 1994 Acton Lecture Series featuring Sister Connie Driscoll speaking on the welfare myth. 

    Sister Connie (1933–2005) was the co-founder of St. Martin de Porres House of Hope, now the Southside Center of Hope, in an impoverished neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. It’s a community for women and their children who are healing and recovering from substance abuse.

    Sister Connie believed in personal responsibility and refused any type of government aid. When women entered the community, Sister Connie took their welfare checks and taught them how to pay rent. 

    She described her practice in a 1997 Forbes interview: “They have to turn over 80 percent of their welfare check and 50 percent of their food stamps. I put the money and stamps into a safe-deposit box and return it when they’re ready to leave. We teach them to pay rent, utilities and food bills first, then prioritize what else they need. The word on the street is that ours is a tough house. The women always have somewhere to be: career or computer training, GED classes, Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings or a job here in the house.”

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    About Sister Connie Driscoll  

    Acton Lecture Series