Sesame Street provides Comfy-Cozy Spaces for healing within housing

Comfy, Cozy Spaces

It’s important for kids to feel safe and secure, and often, that just requires a space for these conversations to occur. Sesame Workshop, in its partnership with UnitedHealthcare, has worked to address issues surrounding the well-being of children for many years. With that in mind, the collaboration has resulted in resources that help spark conversations about resiliency, healthy nutrition and much more.

The latest effort is one that will be long-lasting – right where people live and children play.

UnitedHealthcare Comfy-Cozy Spaces are three Sesame Street-decorated, child-friendly spaces designed to encourage family connections and foster conversations between parents, caregivers and providers on the health of children. These spaces appear in public housing communities and include Sesame Street in Communities resources, such as books and activities about resiliency and building confidence.

In Atlanta, the spaces recently launched are part of communities run by Star-C, which also helps residents with eviction relief, afterschool care and more. Fifteen Comfy-Cozy Spaces are launching this year in Atlanta, Georgia, Columbus, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, Houston, Texas and Seattle, Washington.

“It’s exciting,” said Audrea Rease, executive director of Star-C. “It’s coming at a great time for the space and a great time for the children.”

The goal of the spaces is to help reduce stress for children and provide a place where families can connect and get the resources they need. The launch of the Comfy-Cozy Space in Atlanta included a backpack and book distribution, fun activities for kids and their families, plus a special visit from Elmo.

“UnitedHealthcare is working on ways to create new, affordable housing that also includes other social support services,” said Michael Minor, CEO of the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Georgia. “And we think providing that is going to be the way to increase overall health outcomes.”

Including these spaces right where families live and play can have an impact on the overall well-being of residents. Having readily available resources in a relaxing, positive space for families can build a strong foundation – particularly when the well-loved characters of Sesame Street are involved.

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