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Sesame Street introduces first-ever homeless character

Lily will help teach viewers about homelessness, a growing problem in many countries.

lily Source: Sesame Street/Twitter

SESAME STREET HAS introduced a homeless character in a bid to teach its viewers about the topic. 

Lily, a 7-year-old pink Muppet, was introduced to the children’s TV show in 2011. She was initially described as being food-insecure because her family didn’t have consistent access to food.

In a new storyline, her and her family stay with friends when they lose their apartment.

It is the first time a character on the show has experienced homelessness, which is a growing problem in many countries.

Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, said it’s hoped that Lily will increase understanding of homelessness among the programme’s young viewers. 

Westin said 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”.

“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.”

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Órla Ryan

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