Vernessa Cunningham said she lived just one floor above where the deadly fire broke out in her Bronx apartment building Sunday. 

“This morning, when I saw the morning news, people you pass and you say hi to, and the next day, they’re not here, they’re not with us. They didn’t have to die,” Cunningham said. 

She said she was at church when the fire began.

“The preacher, she got to Romans 12 and the next thing, I look down on my phone, my building is on fire. And then I look, it’s my apartment too” Cunningham said. 

Since then, she’s been staying at the Ramada hotel along with some others displaced by the fire.

Cunningham said her building’s managers told her she can move back home Wednesday, but she said her apartment is unlivable. 

“The apartment is a wreck. I got smoke, I got glass damage. I got water damage. Windows, no windows. The front part of the living room, the window is completely out. My bedroom window, they’re out,” she said. 

Cunningham said the Red Cross told her she can stay at the Ramada until the 25th. That’s more than two weeks after the fire. After that, she’s unsure of what to do. 

“I’m not going back there,” she said. 

At a news conference outside the building Thursday, residents and community activists called on elected officials to do more to help those affected by the fire. They say there are not enough resources available. 

A spokesperson for the Red Cross said that it provided emergency housing in local hotels for 70 families, or 285 people. As of Wednesday night, the Red Cross said 60 families were still being served.

The property owners said they’re working to find more permanent housing solutions for those who decide not to return to the building. 

A spokesperson for Rep. Ritchie Torres said that his office has been in contact with landlords willing to give affordable housing units to families, with some of them offering to cover rent.

Cunningham believes the same faith that kept her alive during the fire will get her through this hard time. 

“I’m trying to be still and let God handle this,” she said.