“Lily”, a muppet originally debuted in 2011 whose family lacked consistent access to food, to become homeless in a new storyline.

Sesame Street is a diverse neighborhood

Lily will be featured on Sesame Street in Communities, a free online resource for community providers. This is not the first time Sesame Street has featured characters with different backgrounds and challenges. There were:

  • Julia, a character with autism was introduced last year
  • Zari debuted on the Afghanistan’s version of the show in 2016 to promote female empowerment in a country where oppression of women is still prevalent.
  • In 2013, the show introduced Alex, whose dad is in prison to address the challenge of mass incarceration
  • In 2002, introduced Kami, a muppet who’s HIV positive for the African version of the show

Millions of children are experiencing homelessness

According to Sesame Workshop, the non-profit behind Sesame Street, more than 2.5 million children are homeless nationwide and 1.2 million of them are under the age of six.

The organization says episodes featuring Lily will be developed to show the experience from a child’s eyes and promote optimism and understanding and introduce simple coping strategies for children.

Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, said in statement that the new storyline aims to “comfort, empower, and give hope for the future” for homeless children.

In case you’re wondering

No, Oscar the Grouch is not homeless. The trash can is the home for Oscar. Weird we know but its his choice.

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