In 2014, the National Center on Family Homelessness reported thatÂ 2.5 million young Americans, one in every 30 kids, experience not having a home during the year, while the Interagency Working Group on Youth Projects put the number anywhere between 500,000 to 2.8 million. Now,Â Sesame Street has launched a new program for these children; it's an initiative that will also help the rest of us help them, and just one piece of it involves the show introducing its first ever character who will deal with homelessness.As part of their Sesame Street in Communities program (which we first learned about at ABC 57 News), the show will address the plight via seven-year-old Lily. She was first introduced in 2011 and has dealt with her family not always having enough food, but in this new video Lily struggles with missing her old bedroom, as she reveals her family has been forced to move in with friends.
This new program features far more than just Lily's own struggles. Sesame Street has created a number of assets to help teach awareness about homelessness. You can find activities, storybooks, videos, workshops, articles, and other resources that address the problem and teach kids that a loving home can be found in many places. And just asÂ Sesame Street did with Julia, its first character with autism, it can also help make other kids aware of the problems being faced by their peers.The program, the latest of many great In Communities initiatives the show has undertaken, is also designed to help families as they cope with homelessness. "Losing oneâ€™s home brings enormous challenges, yet families can be incredibly strong and determined to create a better future. Every family can build a sense of hope and learn ways to copeâ€¦and remember that no one is alone."
Featured Image: Sesame Street