I'm sure one can always find dodgier, somewhat cheaper, options, but here in Philadelphia, for example, which is still a cheap city, the standard for signing a lease is 3 months rent (deposit/first/last, after the first year the landlord in theory can only keep one month of deposit total, at least that's how it was last time I rented). So we're talking 2000 bucks cash minimum really to move in anywhere, over and above other numerous transition costs.
Almost every article about The Kids Today should be doing it differently with their finances assumes that everyone can go to the Bank of Mom and Dad for a couple of thousand bucks if they need to. It doesn't assume the Bank has infinite cash, that everyone has rich parents, but it does assume that there's always an insurance policy to smooth things over. Not everybody has that. A lot of people don't. Many people just can't come up with a few thousand bucks to move to a new place, especially when they probably just spent 800 bucks to fix their beater.