"Sesame Street" may be a children's show, but it's never shied away from tackling serious issues, whether it be death, AIDS, or in a new online series, homelessness.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces "Sesame Street," announced this week a new initiative providing resources for families dealing with homelessness. At the forefront is Lily, 7-year-old Muppet who is homeless, and staying with friends on Sesame Street. Lily was first introduced in 2011, in a storyline that discussed her family being food-insecure.
In one of the new videos, Lily expresses sadness when "everyone else is going home" from a playdate, and says she misses her apartment.
"Now we don't have our own place to live, and sometimes I wonder if we'll ever have our own home again," Lily says.
In another video, Lily reveals that her family has a new apartment, and thanks her friend Elmo for his support. Elmo himself discusses the topic in another clip, saying he "has some friends who don't have a house or an apartment to stay in right now, and that makes Elmo really sad. But Elmo's mommy says that home can mean a lot of things."
According to Sherrie Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, Lily's story is meant to connect on many different levels.
"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," Westin told CNN.
"The goal is really to give service providers, parents, teachers tools in order to address homelessness with children, in order to talk about it and raise awareness of the issue from a child's perspective and also to help children experiencing homelessness feel less alone.
"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."
More information about the program can be found here.