Records show a Canadian government homelessness relief program cost taxpayers millions of dollars paid to consultants, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. Overall spending on consultants jumped 13% last year, despite cabinet’s promise to cut spending. Infrastructure Canada said in an inquiry of ministry tabled in the House of Commons $2.8 million was paid to date to consultants under Reaching Home. Reaching Home is budgeted at $4 billion over nine years. Consulting fees included $987,084 to BDO Canada LLP for indigenous research expertise. ACRE Consulting was paid $205,500 for support and advice. Nick Falvo Consulting was paid $52,930 for analysis of the factors impacting homelessness rates and a review of social and economic factors associated with it. OrgCode Consulting was paid $44,625 to develop content for webcasts and leadership workshops. K and L Consulting Inc. was paid $35,000 to estimate the cost to communities of housing programs and meeting homelessness reduction targets. No total consulting budget was detailed. Figures were tabled at the request of Conservative MP Doug Shipley (Barrie — Springwater — Oro-Medonte, ON), who asked how many people had been lifted out of homelessness because of Reaching Home. Infrastructure Canada estimated 28,631 people experienced chronic homelessness in Canada. Statistics Canada indicated in a report in 2023 the number was 25,000 people. New details of millions spent on consultants followed a budget pledge in March to reduce spending on them. Treasury Board President Anita Anand said at a press scrum in August all federal managers were expected to refocus their spending. “The exercise is extremely important,” said Anand. “Spending reviews have been part of previous governments, but what we are asking departments across the government to do is to take a look at your expenditures and determine where there is a possibility to refocus that spending.”Anand admitted this “is not about doing more with less or arbitrary cost cutting.”“This is about ensuring public servants and public funds are focused on the priorities that matter most,” she said. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) auditors said in August the majority of homeless people enrolled in Reaching Home failed to enter long-term, stable housing. READ MORE: Majority of homeless people left Canadian government aid programOf the 13,057 homeless people who received federal aid in 2020, ESDC auditors said 5,323 remained housed or successfully exited the program after one year. “The program has not yet collected data on this indicator for the 2021 fiscal year,” they said.