In March 2018, the Southern California Counseling Center opened the doors to its first-ever satellite location in Watts on the campus of Watts Labor Community Action Committee or WLCAC. Today, under the leadership of Marianne Diaz, SCCC-Watts is thriving.

SCCC-Watts endeavors to recruit and train a network of mental health para-professionals and counselors that respect and understand the unique needs of the communities we serve and have the expertise to assist specific groups such as the formerly incarcerated; families in the  child protective system; mothers at risk; and other groups in urgent need of mental health  resources.

One of SCCC-Watts goals is to help adults and youth in the community of Watts overcome the impact of long-term trauma, violence, racism, and discrimination.  SCCC-Watts seek to reduce recidivism rates among the formerly incarcerated; to offer youth alternatives to rage and violence in reaction to pain and conflict; to assist families as they navigate the child protective services program; and support mothers dealing with mental health challenges.

Core Initiatives

Strength Based Counseling

We promote a strength-based mental health services model that avoids interventions and strategies that in the past have only increased the marginalization, racism and discrimination so many residents know too well.

Social Justice

Our commitment to equity in under resourced communities informs our work. Our “secret sauce” is the trust we have built in the community, the ability to combine quality mental health services infused with cultural and historic understanding of oppressed populations, and the ability and desire to meet the clients where they are at by designing programs and services that answer the call towards Social Justice.

Community Engagement

A high priority has been to create a network of community resources that are dedicated to health, well-being and recovery from trauma as key to enabling individuals and families to become empowered and able to move forward in their lives. To help accomplish this priority, we have created a Community Engagement Committee.

Available Services

Today, SCCC-Watts serves 200 clients each week. In addition to one-on-one counseling, we offer the following services from our Watts location:

  • Community Counseling Certificate
  • DV for Survivors (Mondays at 6PM)
  • Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (Tuesdays at 7PM)
  • Stress Navigation and Anger Management (Thursdays 6-7:30 or Fridays 7:30-9)
  • Youth Empowerment and Enrichment Group AKA: Teen Group (Fridays 4pm)
  • Trauma Informed Empowered Parenting (English)
  • Trauma Informed Empowered Parenting (Spanish)
  • GRYD Re-Entry Groups Juvenile Justice Probation Camp Youth
  • Teen Program

Community Engagement

In order to best serve our community, SCCC-Watts has formed a Community Engagement Committee (CEC).  The CEC is focused on cultivating essential and meaningful partnerships with complementary organizations in our community.  As a result of this effort, we have the honor of working with incredible organizations, including:


  • City of Los Angeles’ Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD)
  • Go Campaign
  • Harmony Project
  • Children’s Institute
  • Avalon Carver Community Center
  • Watts Community Core
  • Nickerson Gardens
  • CleanSlate
  • Karsh
  • Food, Education, Access, Support, Together (FEAST)
  • Abode Communities

Not Just a Mental Health Agency


SCCC-Watts is not just a mental health agency, we are a resource to the community and we are responsive to the community’s needs by addressing the social determinants of health.

In response to food insecurity, we have hosted multiple food distribution drives.  To assist children back-to-school, we have provided backpacks and school supplies.  Several of our clients do not have the technology to access our services online so we organized a technology drive that resulted in donations of Chromebooks and other devices.  Our clients have indicated the need for financial literacy so we have coordinated classes to meet their needs.  Lastly, we continue our highly successful annual Turkey Feast and Holiday Gift distribution.