'Government is Not the Solution': DeSantis Family Lauds Hope Florida Program for Those in Need

'Government is Not the Solution': DeSantis Family Lauds Hope Florida Program for Those in Need

The DeSantises lauded the Hope Florida program connecting the needy with community and faith based resources

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
May 9, 2024

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL—The DeSantis family took the stage Thursday morning, touting First Lady Casey DeSantis' initiative to remove government from societal issues and replace it with faith and community-based organizations which, the Governor says, will save taxpayers $800 million in ten years.

"Government is not the solution to society's problems," Governor Ron DeSantis said at a Panama City Beach press conference. "To simply give checks from the government—that does not lift people up, that does not open the horizon...That creates incentives so that you develop a culture of dependency on those systems."

He juxtaposed what he sees as bureaucratic failure to those in need with his wife's Hope Florida program, founded in 2022. The initiative serves to connect someone in need with various volunteer groups or faith-based organizations, in the hopes that once these groups have the individual on their radar, the person will be able to get assistance and resources from these community-based initiatives continually.

"Since this program was launched, we've had 100,000 Floridians...that have been connected to assistance [and] almost 30,000 participants that have reduced or completely eliminated their reliance on public assistance altogether," DeSantis continued.

He cited several figures from Hope Florida participants, explaining that 73% who had employment issues found a job, 62% with housing problems found stable housing, 68% with childcare issues found long-term support, and 66% who had basic needs that were not being met located services to address their problems.

In the 2023-2024 fiscal year, there was a projected 18 percent increase in residents on government welfare programs, meaning that around 33,862 households or 64,109 individuals were expected to use these programs. In June 2023, 3 million Floridians received SNAP benefits, which are food stamps.

At the press conference, the DeSantises dispersed $140,000 to seven different Hope Florida network participants, thanking the groups for their efforts to better the state.

The two also highlighted the "untapped" resource of religious groups, explaining that of the 4,900 Hope Florida network partners, 1,210 are faith-based.

"It's not just about statecraft, it's about soulcraft," DeSantis said. "It's not just the right thing to do, but it's also beneficial to taxpayers because as you get people off this government assistance, we're able to save taxpayers almost $100 million per year...Over the ten year period, we think that will be close to $800 million."

"You can have the best resources in the world, and if you don't know that they exist, what good are they?" said Casey DeSantis, lauding her program's ability to increase resource transparency statewide.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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