HAMILTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (PIX11) — A group of Hamilton Heights residents is struggling to find permanent housing after a five-alarm fire ripped through their building.

“Most of us didn’t get a chance to grab anything,” said Yahaira Paulino, the Tenants Association president for their West 141st Street building

The blaze on Dec. 3 displaced all tenants of the building, more than 100 people.

“It’s been really extremely stressful,” Kari Nichols explained.

Initially, the Red Cross and city agencies provided the tenants with hotel rooms to stay in, but Monday morning “everyone had to evacuate the hotels that were provided by the city,” Paulino said.

Some tenants have found refuge with friends and family, while others are now preparing to enter homeless shelters.

Council member Shaun Abreu is working to cut through red tape so the residents can be placed in shelters close to home, “so our kids can go to the same school or go to the same bodega or go to the same church.”

Several tenants told PIX11 News they need help finding permanent housing.

Paulino explained that “a lot of people are out there figuring it out on their own because they’re traveling with elderly or newborns, and they really don’t feel that the shelter system is the appropriate venue for them”

“HPD couldn’t place us because we have animals, so we’ve kind of been fending for ourselves,” Nichols said.

Residents have organized a GoFundMe fundraiser online to support each other.