New homeless management system hits snag

London city council chambers.
London city council chambers. AM980 London

It will cost London more than expected to implement a homeless information system.

London’s community and protective services was told Wednesday an extra $200,000 was needed for consulting services to help set up the city’s new Homeless Management Information System.

City staff revealed it would cost $931,351, not the $725,555 that was originally expected to hire Cargo Management Consulting Inc. to assist with the implementation process.

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This is the second time consulting costs on the project have risen.

“I remember when we approved this in Jan. 2016, it was $640,000 and now it’s $900,000,” said Ward 4 Coun. Jesse Helmer. “Have we explored all the options available to us in the agreement with have with Cargo?”

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The program was developed by the federal government to help cities streamline and track services used by the homeless.

However, there have been technical problems during the changeover from the old to the new database.

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Lynne Livingstone, London’s managing director of neighbourhood, children and fire services laid the blame squarely at the feet of the federal government.

“We’ve explored every option with Cargo to try and move forward,” said Livingstone. “This is not an issue about Cargo, this is an issue about the product that we are working with not delivering on what we were told it would do and that lays at the feet of the government of Canada.”

A number of municipalities in Canada are using the so-called Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) including Montreal, Hamilton, Windsor, Chatham, Ottawa, Kingston and the Waterloo Region.

The issue goes to full council next week.

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