‘Sesame Street’ Introduces Its First Homeless Character

“Sesame Street” has introduced its first homeless character, Lily, in a bid to raise awareness about soaring rates of homelessness among children. Lily, a hot pink puppet with red hair and a purple nose, broaches the subject in a conversation with Elmo in a recent clip posted on the Sesame Street in Communities YouTube page. "Now we don't have our own place to live, and sometimes I wonder if we'll ever have our own home," Lily tells Elmo. The 7-year-old puppet first made her television debut in 2011 when she told friends from the block that her family did not have enough to eat, USA Today reports. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the children’s show—which, at 49 seasons, is one of the longest running television program in America—wanted to bring Lily on the show to alleviate the stigma around homelessness and provide hope for their young viewers. "We want [homeless children] to know that they are not alone and home is more than a house or an apartment," Sherrie Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, was quoted as saying by The Washington Post. "Home is wherever the love lives."