I've been on food stamps before, but never Welfare. (Oh, maybe food stamps ARE Welfare, shows what I know! lol) I think it's a great program for people who find themselves in a tough spot, and if you qualify there's no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. I don't think it should become someone's sole source of lifetime income though.
I don't really know how it works (obviously), but it seems like it would be nice if they also had some sort of job placement program for those who can work and are having a hard time finding employment.