I guess this is two separate questions.
I often read about how shelters run out of space. Well, what’s the economics behind this? Are there draconian restrictions on creation of new shelters and expansion of existing ones? Or are the marginal costs of a night’s stay at the shelter (as paid probably by the shelter itself, from its charitable funding) too high to offer more of this service? If the shelters were to transition to a more efficient mode of operation (say, staffed by volunteers as opposed to PhDs in homeless studies with loans to pay) would the problem have gone away?
homeless shelter appears to be one of the cheapest, low quality housing legally available in America. In a way, I find this to be hearkening back to the good old days of the flophouse, skid row and the modern Japanese capsule hotel - i.e. all examples of no frills housing for people (mostly male) who want it cheap because they don’t value spacious housing and sanitary norms as highly as the well paid civil service bureaucrats do. Well, so how come we don’t see paid “shelters” that, allegedly, are for the homeless but in practice are just very low cost hotels, let’s say for people who are looking for a cheap roommate situation but in the meantime need to stay somewhere for two weeks? Can a shelter actually charge people for staying there in the first place?