IMPACT
09/16/2010 12:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Family Sells Everything To Survive

A new Census Bureau report shows more people are living at or below the poverty threshold, CNN reports, which means that many in the United States are facing poverty for the first time.

CNN's Jim Roope interviewed a family, who asked to remain anonymous, on their recent financial griefs. After "Maria" and her husband both lost their jobs, they began searching for work to support themselves an their two children, one of whom has Autism.

"We had to go down to the basics. There is no TV in this house, there is no entertainment of any kind, there is no shopping, the only thing we have to come up with is food."

The family moved out of their five-bedroom home and sold their all their possessions on eBay and Craigslist, including their wedding rings, cars, furniture. Local food pantries and churches are providing the family with basics.

Their only steady income is from a rental house they own in Florida, which is in foreclosure. But the house makes it difficult to collect government aid because it is considered an asset. The family hoped to seek temporary government aid for just a few months until they could secure full-time jobs, but were told that aid could only be issued on a long-term basis, Maria told Roope in an interview.

"They're not going to help you because they just assume I'm going to stay in the system...I'm an immigrant, yes. But I have been in this country almost 20 years but I have worked 19 and a half and I have paid my taxes. Income taxes, home taxes, whatever it is I have paid my taxes and I think I deserve at least a little bit of help with my kids.

To read more and listen to the full interview visit CNN.com.