Coffeehouse serves up mocha with counseling on the side

Coffeehouse Five serves more than java in Franklin, Indiana

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — A new coffeehouse has opened up on the square around the Johnson County Courthouse in Franklin with a unique mission.

It’s a place that is not for-profit, but “for-benefit”: the benefit of the community.

The name of Coffeehouse Five is a play on words of “Slaughterhouse Five,” the famous novel by Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut. But it also is a reminder of five areas the owners hope they can impact: preparation, counseling, recovery, training and support.

“We believe we exist for the benefit of the community,” said co-founder Brian Peters.

Peters was making scones by hand Friday. But 25 years ago, he was an alcoholic attorney with his marriage on the brink of divorce. Faith in God turned his life around as well as his life’s work.

“So many people aren’t able to get the help they need because of the cost of mental health services, so we want to come up with a way to provide help to the community without charging for it,” Peters said.

But that’s only possible thanks to the net profits at the coffeehouse.

The first location opened in Greenwood in 2014 and helped provide $50,000 worth of counseling in 2018, most focused on free marital counseling and addiction recovery programs.

“People dealing with addiction need a friend more than anything else,” said Peters. “That’s why AA has been so successful: because it’s a community. It’s a place where people can connect.”

Peters said digital connections don’t count.

The Franklin location at 41 West Monroe St is the second spot for Coffeehouse Five.

He hopes it can double the revenue to double the benefit they provide to the community, including hiring a counselor who can help women and even subsidizing the cost when counselors need additional help.

As for the couples counseling, he said saving a marriage can help a lot more than the spouses. It can mean a lifetime of difference for their children.

“The next generation, if we can create this healthy marital unit and healthy community, then obviously that’s better for our children,” Peters said.

Peters counseled more than 180 individuals and couples last year. He’s an ordained pastor and his church, which currently meets at the Greenwood location of Coffeehouse Five, will be moving to the larger location in Franklin in a couple weeks.

Peters said you don’t have to be a Christian to take part in any of the counseling; you just have to be willing to listen.