According to the Houston Chronicle, the costs of sheltering a family in a homeless shelter can be almost double that of a two-bedroom apartment:
"When helping first-time homeless, it's cheaper for some communities to house individuals and families in rental apartments than in emergency shelters or transitional housing, according to a federal study released Thursday[ by] the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A little more than 7,000 individuals from four cities...and almost 4,000 families from six cities...were tracked over an 18-month period beginning in 2006. [I]n almost all cases, the cost of providing housing in homeless programs exceeds the fair market rent cost of providing rental assistance with support services.
Thaos Costis, chief executive officer of Houston's SEARCH Services...said the study builds the case for the housing-first concept, which is popular in northern states. The goal is get to people out of emergency shelters and into permanent housing immediately."