The thing you’ll hear most from people reluctant to start a Housing First program in their city is that they just can’t afford it. It seems the excuse for everything these days. But just how much would it cost? Here is my own break down. There are about 900,000 homeless people in the US at any one time. To modestly house feed, clothe, and provide case management would cost about 15,000 dollars per homeless person – the majority of participants would need little or no case management help. At 15k per, the total cost of housing every single homeless person in the country would be 13.5 Billion dollars a year. That may seem like a lot until you compare it to other things that Americans willingly pay for. The US gambling, or gaming, industry consists of about 500 casinos, about 400 Indian casinos and bingo halls, and lotteries in about 40 states with combined annual revenue of about $80 billion. http://www.firstresearch.com/Industry-Research/Gambling.html
Put another way – it would cost 28 cents per day per employed person to house every homeless person in the U.S.