The world-famous children's television show Sesame Street has introduced a new character to highlight the plight of homeless children. The educational TV series, which has been aired since 1969, is helping to tackle the issue of homelessness via a new character called Lily. She is a 7-year-old girl who was left homeless after her family lost their apartment. Lily's plight mirrors that of over 2.5 million children in the USA who are also homeless. Millions more youngsters around the world are in the same situation. A Sesame Street spokeswoman, Sherrie Westin, hoped the character Lily would reduce the stigma associated with homelessness and allow children to identify with her, "and hopefully feel less alone".
The iconic, educational show has a long history of raising awareness of social issues among children. Other tough topics they have addressed include dealing with parents who are in prison, living with autism, and facing bullies at school. Ms Westin stressed the importance of reaching out to children who have no permanent home. She said: "We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma. As well as the daily hardship of being homeless, those children may suffer due to poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home." She added: "We want homeless children to know that they are not alone."