Sesame Street is tackling the issue of homelessness.
After first being introduced to the Sesame Street world in 2011 as a child facing national hunger, the children’s program has brought back Lily, a 7-year-old bright pink Muppet, to shed light on homelessness in America.
Lily’s storyline will now include an arc about her family losing their home and being forced to stay with friends.
“Lily is the first Muppet we’ve created whose storyline includes that she is experiencing homelessness,” said Sherrie Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, formerly Children’s Television Workshop, which is the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, according to CNN.
Much of Lily’s story will be told in new online videos, rather than on televised episodes of the show. According to CNN, the homelessness initiative launched Wednesday as part of Sesame Workshop’s Sesame Street in Communities program.
“With any of our initiatives, our hope is that we’re not only reaching the children who can identify with that Muppet but that we’re also helping others to have greater empathy and understanding of the issue,” said Westin.
Westin said she hopes Lily’s character will help people look at the issue of homelessness through a new “lens.”
“I think we tend to think of homelessness as an adult issue and don’t always look at it through the lens of a child, and we realize that Sesame has a unique ability to do that, to look at tough issues with the lens of a child,” she said.