Authored by Edward Larkins
What could a show with a guy who lives in a trash can, a giant talking bird, and a million year old count possibly teach any kid?
Well for decades those characters and their show Sesame Street have taught millions of children everything from simple counting to healthy nutrition. Now the show aims to teach children and maybe even an adult or two about the epidemic of childhood homelessness in the USA.
As The New York Times reports the show is bringing back a fuchsia colored puppet named Lilly to convey the urgency and depth of childhood homelessness. First seen on the show seven years ago, Lilly was “shy and soft spoken” and came with the plight of her family never having enough to eat.
After her near decade long absence Lily returns with her family, now homeless. Their housing insecurity sees them “going back and forth between shelters and crashing with relatives.”
Lily is in a situation that according to Doorways.org affects 1 in 30 children. As The Times and Doorways report there are over 2 million homeless children in the United States. Many American families are suffering through chronic homelessness. The Bassuk Center on Homeless and Vulnerable Children & Youth found that families account for 37% of the homeless population, and make up 50% of the shelter population.
Here’s hoping that Sesame Street can get a conversation started about the grave situation that’s effecting millions of children and their families across the country.