‘Sesame Street’ Will Introduce The Show’s First Homeless Muppet
SesameStreet producers want to teach their young viewers about homelessness by introducing the popular children’s show’s very first homeless #Muppet.
If you got kids in your life, then you’ll know that about seven years ago, the show introduced the pink-felted 7-year-old Lily to help viewers understand hunger and food insecurity. A new series of videos will now explore how Lily learns to cope when her family loses their home and she’s forced to stay with friends on Sesame Street, according to nydaily news.
“Everyone else is going home. And well, I miss our apartment and now we don’t have our own place to live,” says Lily in a new video. “And sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever have our own home again.”
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the beloved show, is launching the character’s struggle as a means of offering “help and hope to the growing number of young children across the United States who are experiencing homelessness,” the organization said in a press release.
The goal is to convey what homelessness is like from a child’s perspective. The show will feature Lily learning the importance of talking about her feelings through the process and discussing the concept of what “home” truly means.
The character’s new storyline is part of the show’s Sesame Street in Communities program, and won’t air on televised episodes for now, only separate online videos and materials.
“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma,” said Sherrie Westin, president of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop. “We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them, and giving them hope for the future. We want them to know that they are not alone, and home is more than a house or an apartment – home is wherever the love lives.”
The National Center on Family Homelessness reports that 2.5 million children (about one in every 30 children) are homeless in the United States.
Lily’s new storyline isn’t the only step “Sesame Street” has taken to become more inclusive; last year, the series introduced Julia, a Muppet with autism.