She doesn't have a car and tries to avoid even taking the bus, preferring to walk if she can to save the 50-cent fare. She rarely goes out with friends but is too ashamed of her apartment to have people over.
The report also showed that a large number of people who got out of poverty had not made it that far and were just barely above the poverty line.
"A lot of people either experience poverty or skate very close to the line," said Sherman at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Dosch-Evangelista said that she was better off financially when she was getting cash assistance. She still gets benefits through SNAP, the modern food stamp program, but said she is proud to have a job and not be taking cash aid except in extreme emergencies.
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"I'd rather work a crappy job and take the risk from week to week of losing my apartment than be on welfare, and I'm hoping that says something about me," she said.
Dosch-Evangelista hopes that the situation will improve when she starts a second job helping out with basic duties at a group home. Though she expects the pay to be minimum wage, the extra hours should mean more money every month.
In the long run, she hopes to finish college and eventually start an agency to help people like herself, who were adopted in their late teens. She's taking a break from school because of the financial stress but is confident that she will get back eventually.
"I'm not rosy-eyed about it, but I'm optimistic, I guess," Dosch-Evangelista said of the future. "I'm trying to be realistic."
—By CNBC's Allison Linn. Follow her on Twitter @allisondlinn and Google or send her an email.