I know this question may sound political but when I recently saw this, I thought it was a no brainer (meaning to house veterans rather than refugess).Therefore, I'm assuming theres more to the story than just the simplistic refugee vs. homeless veteran narrative.
Hello, immigrant here (well, American citizen now).
When we arrived to US, me, my sister, mother, father, 4 of us, right as we landed in DC in late 1990s, we were $2700 in debt to US government for our plane tickets. Our whole wealth included roughly $40 in cash, and whatever cloth we were allowed to bring.
We were placed in an apartment building in NW DC, our rent was $650 and paid for for the first 2 months by whatever agency/organization oversaw our immigration. We were enrolled in foodstamps program for 3 months, I don't recall how much, but I know we had to be careful and stretch it out (we ate a lot of hot dogs...fucking hot dogs, I hate hot dogs now). We had to start paying back the airplane tickets within 6 months as well.
Me and my sister were both high-school aged, and you can't buy school supplies with food stamps, so that was kind of shitty, but we got some help from the school. Dad got a job as a dishwasher at a hotel within a month, mom followed soon as a housekeeper at a different place. Our plane tickets were paid off within a year, and the rest is history.
US government spent 3 months worth of food stamps on 4 of us, and that's all, not to mention the debt we had to pay to US government. We pretty much paid $2700 to have a privilege of being homeless in this country, and we were/are grateful.
This is why it's easier to take in 10K refugees than it is to house the homeless. There seems to be an illusion that immigrants are given massive wealth and money and support to come to the US. Sure the social services are available to us as well, as they are to anybody else, but that's just that, like anybody else, no special treatment, and that's wonderful in more ways than one.
Source: Reddit ELI5