The first homeless Muppet, Lily, has officially hit Sesame Street.
For decades, Sesame Street has helped kids learn the basics, like letters and numbers. But the show also has a history of helping children deal with really tough issues, like death, disease, and crime. With homelessness on a steady rise across the US, it only makes sense that Sesame Street would turn homelessness into a teachable moment, too.
Enter Lily, a 7-year-old pink Muppet.
“Lily is the first Muppet we’ve created whose storyline includes that she is experiencing homelessness,” Sherrie Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, told CNN.
Lily’s character was first introduced back in 2011, when she became the first Muppet to experience food insecurity. Now her family has lost their home, forcing them to move into a friend’s house.
The story line is part of the Sesame Street in Communities program’s new homelessness initiative. Homelessness is an issue that impacts thousands of children. Yet, as Sherrie explained, we rarely consider housing transitions from a child’s point of view: “We realize that Sesame has a unique ability to do that, to look at tough issues with the lens of a child.”