Shampoo. Hydrating or not? I suppose it doesn't matter.
shaving cream and razors
two toothbrushes and some toothpaste
towels. Two. No, better get four.
knives. The block set, or the three? Three. They can build around that.
silverware. They'll need silverware.
tampons and pads
a small lamp for the bedside
"Do we have dishes?" Yes, we have dishes. "How about a coffeemaker?" Yep, got that.
coffee. And filters. Don't forget the filters.
"How about toilet paper?" I don't think anybody thought of that. "Okay, then. I'll get some."
"Oh--wait. Any pets?" No, no pets. (a small sigh of relief here, that they didn't have to abandon their critters)
Paper. Pens. A phone book. A list of decent businesses to buy things from. A gift card for anything else we might've forgotten.
A couch. A bed. A dining room table and a rug. Later, someone will go out and buy a shower curtain.
Pillows. Blankets. Two sets of sheets that will be a little bit big, but should work.
The washing machine churning away at the towels, so that they can use them right away. The dishwasher churning away at the dishes, so that they can use them right away.
Food. More food than you could shake a stick at, stocking the pantry.
A green plant.
Something to read.
They lost everything. They were lucky enough to have the means and the ability to leave everything, but their business and house are now gone. No trace of 'em, *gone*.
They've driven ten, twelve, finally sixteen hours to come here. The management doesn't care that they don't have a housing voucher. "Go ahead and move in; no bills or rent for three months." The rest of us are giving whatever we can cull or buy or do without to furnish the apartment.
Triage means deciding what's important, what you have to do or have or deal with first. When you're looking at somebody who has nothing but what they could stuff in their Civic, that's hard to figure out.