The iconic children's TV show Sesame Street introduces the first ever homeless muppet Lily. Lily will be sharing her family’s story in a bid to shed light on the millions of children who experience homelessness.
Over the decades Sesame Street has never been one to shy away from taking on tough topics and have covered topics such as children dealing with parents who are in prison, handling the challenges of autism and facing bullies at school. Now Sesame Street are aiming to teach children about homelessness with the help of their first ever homeless muppet Lily, who with her family are having to stay with friends as they have lost their apartment.
Lily is a seven-year-old muppet and first appeared on the Street back in 2011, when she was seen feeling hungry as her family didn't always have food. That storyline was to address the issue of food insecurity as her family struggled to always have enough to eat, which is a problem that is often linked to homelessness.
In a recent episode, Lily gets upset as she is painting a rainbow mural with Elmo as the purple part of the rainbow reminds her of her old bedroom, which her family had to leave behind.
She says tells Elmo how ''we don't have our own apartment anymore. And we've been staying in all different kinds of places". Watch the scene in below video
Some viewers are very confused by this announcement from Sesame Street and have been pretty vocal on social media questioning if bin-dwelling character Oscar the Grouch was homeless. Oscar the Grouch has appeared in the show since its first episode in 1969 and also appears to be homeless as he lives in a rubbish bin.
Either way, no matter who was first Oscar or Lily this new initiative has a positive purpose and that is with a mission to reduce the stigma children who experience homelessness can face and redefine what people think a home is, exploring how a home is more about who you are with than where you live.
The non-profit group behind Sesame Street plan to not have Lily appear in the Sesame Street's TV episodes, but feature on YouTube, and in their videos and storybooks on the Sesame Street in Communities website.
The US TV show Sesame Street plays a massive part of our childhood memories and we think it’s awesome that all these years on they are still so forward thinking, and the introduction of Lily is a brilliant way to hopefully help teach young kids about homelessness.