The Pathfinders organisation came to Glen Innes and gave out pumpkins to drivers outside the Town Hall.
It has been holding its annual “Pumpkin Run” between Tamworth and Sydney under which 10 tonnes of pumpkins grown by young people at its Tilbuster Station working farm near Armidale have been distributed to people in need.
The extra stop in Glen was to send a signal to the town that Pathfinders wasn’t down-grading its service in the town.
At 10 am on Thursday, the truck duly drew up and the pumpkins were put into black bags and handed out to motorists and passers-by.
The doubt about the Glen Innes commitment of Pathfinders came because it recently ended one particular programme for young people who present severe difficulties. The service is being provided by another group.
But the organisation’s chief executive, Alan Brennan, said: “I felt it was important to clarify that we are not leaving, we are staying and we are expanding.”
It had recently taken over the empty Royal Hotel on Grey Street to turn it into a Pathfinders centre.
It’s planning a centre there for homeless people to get them on their feet so they can move back out into the wider community.
At the moment, there are people, particularly young people, who don’t own homes and can’t rent because they have no track record of renting.
The plan is for Pathfinders to rent them accomodation for three or six months – long enough for the tenant to establish a record of paying bills so private landlords will then be able to rely on payments when they take private sector accommodation.