Sesame Street Tackles Homelessness

Since 1969, PBS’ Sesame Street has been teaching children their ABCs and 1-2- 3s through their educational and cultural programming. But just last week, the show tackled a deeper subject that no child should have to understand. Homelessness.

Her name is Lily, and her storyline shares that she and her family lost their apartment, and have been staying in all different places, a reality that is true for many children in America. According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, about 1 in 20 children younger than six experienced homelessness in 2014 to 2015, and in California, that number was even more staggering – 1 in 14 .

Lily’s story is a part of the Sesame Street in Communities initiative, and aims to help children experiencing homelessness feel less alone. The program’s website says, “Losing one’s home brings enormous challenges, yet families can be incredibly strong and determined to create a better future. Every family can build a sense of hope and learn ways to cope…and remember that no one is alone.”

At SPIN, we know that a secure home is the starting place for a family to build on their hopes and dreams. Through our Guided Assistance to Permanent Placement (GAPP) program, we help provide financial assistance for housing, including rapid rehousing, transitional housing and rental assistance for families with children.

“Humanizing the issue of homelessness is so important, especially for families with children,” said SPIN’s Executive Director, Jean Wegener. “Last year alone SPIN provided housing, support services, or assistance for 152 families, which included 324 children. The fact that Sesame Street is delivering this type of content is not only educational, it’s critical.”

To view Lily’s story, visit sesamestreetincommunities.org/topics/family-

homelessness/.

To learn more about how to help homeless families and children in Orange

County, visit spinoc.org/get-involved/.