'Sesame Street' Praised For The Inclusion Of Homeless Character
World, meet Lily.
Sesame Street continues its crusade to include statement-making characters on their block. This time around, families will be introduced to Lily, the show’s first homeless character.
According to USA Today, Lily- an adorable hot pink, red haired puppet- was first introduced to the show in 2011, but in new online clips, Lily opens up about being homeless and staying with friends.
"Now we don't have our own place to live, and sometimes I wonder if we'll ever have our own home," she says to Elmo in one clip. In her initial appearances on the show, Lily discusses her family’s food insecurities, meaning they didn’t have much to eat.
“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma – the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home, and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” 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," she continues. "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.”
In recent years, Sesame Street has introduced a slew of ground-breaking new characters, including Julia, a puppet with autism, and Alex, a character whose father is incarcerated.