Child homelessness is a devastating experience for families as they attempt to heal, cope and build their lives from crisis. For the children experiencing homeless, IHNSC creates an inviting and safe environment though our host congregations where they feel secure and cared for. Home is much more than a physical space — it’s a feeling of love, security, and connectedness. This feeling of home can move wherever families go together. Sesame Street’s approach helps all children — both homeless and not homeless — understand the importance of empathy and kindness that enhances a family’s experience at IHNSC.
As a volunteer, how do you explain homelessness to your own children that are not experiencing homelessness? Many of our volunteers create their own family bonding by spending time together at our host congregations and engaging with our IHNSC families. Educating children on homelessness instills compassion and understanding of what others are experiencing. While we might not have all of the answers, being equipped with child-friendly responses to serious questions assists children in understanding the world around them.
Many people without homes — especially families with children — stay with others, in shelters, in motel rooms, or in their cars. It is important to let children know that everyone who doesn’t have a place to stay actually lives on the street. Exposing children to our IHNSC volunteer experience assists with breaking up this stigma and allows for children to interact with other children that are just like them, but may be experiencing homelessness.
Find out more about Learn with Lily and the rest of the lovable Sesame Street characters and access interactive tools and tips on addressing child homelessness.