The cast of HBO’s new hit show, Insecure,volunteered last month on the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) build site in Culver City. Cast member, Yvonne Orji (Molly), attended Habitat LA’s Power Women, Power Tools® Build in 2017 and was inspired to get the entire cast involved this year.
Habitat LA partner homeowner Jemeel Powell joined the Insecure cast to work on his home and noted how much it meant to him to have them there. “I’m really appreciative of people volunteering their time,” explained Powell. “It’s an amazing experience. My wife’s going to be terribly mad she isn’t out here today. She loves Insecure.” He added that his relationship with Habitat for Humanity wouldn’t end once he moves into his new home: “Habitat will be a program I contribute to for the rest of my life.”
Getting their hands dirty alongside Powell and Orji were Insecure’s Natasha Rothwell (Kelli), Y’lan Noel (Daniel) and Jean Elie (Ahmal), and while they made it look easy, the trio worked hard.
“I’ve got a hammer. I’m on scaffolding. I’m just looking to not mess it up,” joked Noel, who described the construction process as “meditative.”
Elie, who serves as his family’s handyman, added that it is extra meaningful to use his skills alongside the partner homeowner: “This is very rewarding, and it feels good to be able to do this.”
“This is much harder than HGTV makes it look,” explained Rothwell, who hadn’t had much prior construction experience. “I will show up and swing a hammer and do whatever I can to give back. Marginalized communities and those that need the most help are being overlooked,” she said.
Orji spoke of homeownership as part of the American dream, observing, “everyone wants that piece of land they can call their own.”
Insecure and HBO launched an Omaze campaign, offering one winner the opportunity to work on the Habitat LA build with the cast and to attend #InsecureFest.
Emma Gullickson Event Coordinator at Omaze noted how special the experience was, “The contest winner and the cast come from different places in the world, different backgrounds. It’s fun to see them wielding hammers next to each other.”
Winner Henry Wright added, “I’m having a great time and I’m trying to build the best home that I can.”