BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — Financial help for the survivors of the devastating Twin Parks North West fire in the Bronx will begin Saturday.
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City announced $2,250 gift cards will be distributed to affected families. And city officials reiterated Friday that no one will be forced to go back to the building, even if the apartment is in good condition.
“I couldn’t even be up there. I had to leave. The smell is too strong for me. Just the thought of going into the building is too much for me,” tenant Jeannie Torres told PIX11 News.
Even as some residents have chosen to return, State Senator Gustavo Rivera said in the coming weeks and months “we will make certain, as we have had said many times, that every single one of these folks finds a permanent place to be.”
Awilda Cordero of Emergency Rights said she is helping more than 60 affected families find new apartments.
“We are going to start working on the section 8 vouchers next week, as of Tuesday. It could take a couple of weeks or a month, but we are going to get it done, god wiling,” she said.
Some affected families waiting for new apartments have been staying in hotels.
According to Christina Farrell, First Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management, “all the hotels are available, right now they are scheduled through the 24th. We will make arrangements as necessary.”
More than $2 million has been raised through the Mayor’s Fund. The city said it will continue to distribute that money to families and relief organizations.