It’s been two weeks since the deadly fire at the Royal Suite Lodge apartment building, and those who lost their homes are still unable to return.


Many say they have no other choice but to temporarily stay with family or in motels. But a gift given by a group of total strangers on Thursday may have been just be what some folks needed to start moving forward.


Looking at the remains of the Royal Suite Lodge, former resident Bernard Walker says he feels fortunate.


He escaped the fire unharmed and is still moved to tears when asked about all the support he’s received since.


“I’m from Brooklyn and you would never see this, the outpouring of compassion from the community,” Walker said.


The Anchorage Home Builders Association (AHBA) is the latest group to provide aid.


Members are giving each family displaced by the fire a check for $500.


“We are trying to express our help and community in providing at least a little bit of funds to help keep people moving forward,” AHBA president Scott Allen said.


Walker received his check on Thursday. He says when you’ve lost everything that kind of money goes a long way.


Since the fire, he and other victims have been staying rent free at the Black Angus Inn, but a letter from management says their time there is coming to an end.


“They’re giving us a good two weeks notice,” Walker said.


For Walker, staying at the Black Angus Inn has always been a temporary solution to his housing dilemma.


He says he’s ready to move on and with his $500 check in hand, now he can.


“I don’t intend to be there any longer than I have to, so this will be a big help [in] finding another place to stay,” said Walker. “Its a security deposit or a down payment on my next house or apartment.”


AHBA is giving out a total of 30 checks to those displaced, totaling $15,000.


KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.