NORTH MIAMI, Fla. -

Nearly two dozen people living in an apartment building in North Miami who were forced out by a ceiling collapse were able to return home on Tuesday.

It's been 13 long days and nights for Ruth Louis and about 200 of her neighbors after they were forced to sleep elsewhere, because the building they call home had been deemed unsafe.

"If I haven't been counting the days, I'll been lying," said Louis. "It has been an interesting experience. It has taught me appreciate what you have and I have total respect for people that are homeless."

The morning after Christmas Day is when the roof over the Gold King apartments gave way, causing significant water damage to some units.

Hallways were left flooded and plaster crumbled. The roof was being replaced but crews failed to properly secure it during heavy rains.

"My unit, I saw water started coming from my roof and then by five something, police started to knock on everybody's door," Louis said.

The Red Cross opened a shelter for displaced families, but Louis has stopped by the building every day for an update. Tuesday was different.

"By walking in the door and they told me, 'Congratulations,' and I was like, 'Whew!' I was so happy," said Louis.

Families are now beginning the process of moving back into their apartments, but while it's been one huge inconvenience, one woman still sees the good in spending part of the holiday season locked out of her home.

"I'm really grateful for this experience because it made me a better person and look at life differently," said Mitka Numa.