Without a kitchen in their hotel room, Manuel said she took her family to Thanksgiving dinner at Red Lobster. At Christmas, there were presents, but they were placed under a much-smaller tree nestled in the corner of the room.
"We tried to make it happen, mainly for my daughter," she said. "I wanted to make sure my baby enjoyed the holiday no matter where we were."
Around March, Manuel said, the city moved them a few blocks to their current hotel in Times Square.
"We are living out of bags, because we get tired of unpacking and packing every time they keep moving us," she said.
While Manuel's fiancé works as an aviation industry contractor, she said she has tried to keep the family afloat, looking for places to live and helping to shuttle Najh'ja to her second-grade class each day in Far Rockaway.
After the long commute home, Manuel said her little girl likes to relax in a corner of their hotel room where she keeps all her toys. She hopes Najh'ja will soon have a room of her home.
"I buy her stuff and make sure she has little toys and cartoons and we try to take her out to the movies to keep her entertained and happy," Manuel said.
"But at the end of the day, she wants her own room. She always talks about it."