Every call matters. That is the mentality that fuels Sophia Cuevas, a client care coordinator with 211 L.A. County, a nonprofit that helps with the city's community needs. Her focus is a heavy one, helping L.A.'s growing number of victims of hate crimes.

"When this opportunity came to launch this program and be a part of this bigger movement that's about to come about, I would say I think about my grandchild. I have [a] little one — she's 4 — and another one on the way. You know, us growing up, there was always this type of issue, but not as broadly recognized," Cuevas said. 

The movement is called "L.A. vs. Hate," and this week, their focus has been on spreading love and tolerance in the county through diverse art installations and community building experiences. In 2019, hate crimes in Los Angeles County increased by 36 percent since 2013. And with COVID-19 increasing frustrations this year, tensions are growing.

 "It's not enjoyable to live in fear, or panic, or afraid to go outside. I never thought of those things. You know, growing up, I used to walk home from school. And I kid you not, it was three or four miles. My parents never had to worry. I send my kid across the street to walk two blocks to go to school, and I'm like, 'Text me when you get to school,'" she said.

She's concerned because she hears first-hand about the many stories of racism and prejudice in Los Angeles County. Still, she said she's happy to help such victims with resources ranging from therapy, legal counsel, and investigations. The repetitive sad phone calls can take a toll, she said, but she focuses on the big picture.

"I've had my moments, I've needed to step away, and walk outside, and re-group, because when I talk to my next client, I have to do it with a clear head. And I cannot let what someone else just told me affect my next case," she explained. 

Cuevas' goal, as with the rest of the team, is to reduce those cases through educating Angelenos that unity is the only solution to combat hate.