A sense of home: Emi Marmol combats homelessness

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Photo credit: Melinda Wang

Junior Emilia Marmol discusses her work with A Sense of Home in room 148.  Archer has recognized Marmol’s service through @archerservice on Instagram. 

By Melinda Wang, Staff Reporter

A Sense of Home is a non-profit organization working to lower rates of homelessness among youth populations by helping them transition out of foster care. To do so, it takes $7000, donated furniture, and 12-24 volunteers to create a new home per client. Emilia Marmol (’24) is one of the 12-24 volunteers who works to recreate homes with donated home goods.

Marmol has been volunteering for A Sense of Home for a year-and-a-half and said she is driven by her desire to help the homeless community, which has a heavy presence in Los Angeles.

“It’s really fun, and it’s something I really am passionate about because living out in LA, I see all the homeless everywhere,” Marmol said. “I volunteer to help combat that issue.” 

The motive of combating homelessness can be a serious topic, but Marmol said volunteering with A Sense of Home does have its share of heartwarming moments. She also said she has been directly impacted by the experience of helping with home renovations and donation services. 

“[I] like seeing the smile on people’s faces and family faces once they get their new home or once they get something new, like a new shirt, or new home or a new thing,” Marmol said.

Even though Marmol focuses on helping others outside her school community, her work with A Sense of Home has also left an impression on her close friend Anna Entin (’24). Entin recalls watching a YouTube video posted by A Sense of Home, which depicts the process volunteers, including Marmol, used to refurnish a home for a girl named Kirah. 

“They make everything super nice, so I think this is a super sweet thing that she does, and she takes a whole day to go do that,” Entin said. “Emi is the sweetest person ever. So I think her just doing service and what she chose to do and helping other people really ties into who she is and her personality.” 

Looking beyond the work she does for A Sense of Home, Marmol said she has also been inspired by the people who volunteer alongside her.

“I mean, honestly, everyone there I’ve met has been super sweet,” Marmol said. “This girl who works there — her name is Rosemary — has been really supportive and nice.”

Within the supportive environment of A Sense of Home volunteers, Marmol has faced her own set of challenges when creating properly furnished homes for her clients can live in.

“When I went into home creation, we only had 90 minutes to do it, and we were all working all at once. And to get it all done, [I] had to work really fast, and that was kind of stressful to get it done in time,” Marmol said.

Currently, Marmol plans to still volunteer for A Sense of Home, but homework and after school activities have hindered her ability to continue taking full school days off for the organization. She said she still attempts to volunteer on weekends and is interested in doing work for a more broad variety of non profit organizations in the future. For now, Marmol said her service allows her to be closer with her fellow volunteers.

“Most of them are family,” Marmol said. “You go to [volunteer] and see everyone happy and hanging out.”