This is a stab in the gloom because I'm only slightly familiar with both games, but I'm familiar with other games that give this kind of "people you know" abstraction.
Gumshoe gives a character's skill a number of points that can be spent for effect during scenes, if I recall correctly. Make another skill to represent this (perhaps "contacts" would be a decent name). Let the players spend these as usual to create someone whole-cloth that they could have reasonably met in their past, and who they could call on or find. On a successful roll, they're available—although perhaps you, as GM, will impose some conditions such as only being able to contact them by phone, or having to go to The Oyster Club and get into the private area where they usually hang out…
If they fail, then it's up to you. Maybe they reach/find them anyway, but there is a catch: they're in trouble and need the PC's help; the PC and the NPC parted on bad terms and it'll take some convincing to get their help; and so on. Or they're just not available—out of the office, on vacation, too far away, not where they usually hang out, or they're just not taking the PC's calls.
Either way, the side effect is that the player has just handed you a ready-made NPC that they have some investment in—a big win for you as GM. The players win too, because they get to see their ideas incorporated into the game in a significant but non-disruptive way—though perhaps not exactly how they hoped—if they're willing to spend the points, and take the chance, to make it happen.
(This idea liberally stolen from the Circles mechanic in The Burning Wheel.)