A Profile of the Working Poor
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2013
23% of the the poor, or 10.5 million people, are "working poor," i.e. people who are poor despite working, rather than because they're too lazy to work.
* * *Poverty in the United Stated: Frequently Asked Questions
National Poverty Center
Also, over a third of the poor are children, so you can't exactly hold that against them.
* * *Contrary to "Entitlement Society" Rhetoric, Over Nine Tenths of Entitlement Benefits Go to Elderly, Disabled, and Working Housholds
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
A new CBPP analysis of budget and Census data, however, shows that more than 90 percent of the benefit dollars that entitlement and other mandatory programs spend go to assist people who are elderly, seriously disabled, or members of working households — not to able-bodied, working-age Americans who choose not to work. (See Figure 1.) This figure has changed little in the past few years.
* * *Many Young Adults in Poverty Have a College Degree, Report Says
The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 15, 2013
Among Americans age 18 to 26 living in poverty, almost half (42-47% depending on the year), were enrolled in college or had been at some point. Only 11% of them had graduated, but that's probably because most of them were still enrolled and working towards it.
* * *NIAAA Researchers Estimate Alcohol and Drug Use, Abuse, and Dependence Among Welfare Recipients
National Institute of Health
Drug and alcohol use among welfare recipients is pretty much exactly the same as in the general population.
* * *Editorial: Drug testing welfare recipients nets little
Arizona drug-tests 87,000 welfare recipients. One tests positive.
* * *The 4 Types of People on Welfare Nobody Talks About
Yes, it's a Cracked article, but read #3. It does a good job of describing some of the things that make it near impossible to climb out of poverty.