‘It’s like a dream’: Kelowna man beats all odds after losing everything

Click to play video: 'Kelowna man beats addiction and homelessness, opens business'
Kelowna man beats addiction and homelessness, opens business
We were first introduced to Lucas Macauley in 2020 when he had just begun his recovery journey from addiction and living on the streets. Sydney Morton caught up with Macauley who has since come full circle and opened up a tattoo parlour. – Jul 19, 2023

Lucas Macauley has beat all the odds, he’s conquered his demons and now is the proud owner of a new tattoo shop in Kelowna.

“It’s like a dream,” said Macauley.

“Walking through the doors every day now and feeling that sense of accomplishment, this is something that in addiction and homelessness I [thought was] just a far away thought and it was the pinhole light at the end of the tunnel that was probably impossible to get to.”
Click to play video: 'Extended interview with Lucas Macauley'
Extended interview with Lucas Macauley

It’s been over a decade since the motorcycle accident that changed Macauley’s life when he was prescribed morphine that sent him on a downward spiral.

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“I went through a difficult time withdrawing and struggling and trying to maintain a heavy work schedule, at that time I had a [tattoo] shop and over time everything just started to fall apart because of that,” said Macauley.

Eventually, Macauley ended up calling the streets of Kelowna home but his family never gave up on him. Thanks to their dedication to him, and his determination, Macauley has accomplished what once felt impossible. On July 15, 2023 he opened the doors to his new tattoo shop, Neighbourhood Tattoo & Art Studio.

“A lot of people thought I was dead a lot of people thought I was either in jail because those are the options. The third option of getting better and seeing yourself succeed again and coming back getting your kids back and family back and all the things that I have had happen is so rare,” said Macauley.

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“That that’s what makes me sad is how rare it is I don’t want to be the anomaly I want to be just one in the crowd that we are fixing.

Macauley has created so much more than just a tattoo shop at his Sutherland Avenue location, he says he hopes to provide a space where other artists and artisans can showcase and sell their work. The tattoo shop is also a place where Macauley can share his success story with clients and others in need of support.

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His brother, Tom Macauley says that Lucas’ story is an important one to share.

“[Lucas] should be an inspiration to anybody that is going through this and to families that are going through this,” said Tom.

“Yes, it can be dark and a lot of grief and lots of feelings of hopelessness and he is proof you can get out of it.”

Macauley is now turning his pain and lived experience into his superpower, becoming an advocate for people experiencing homelessness and addiction. Showing them there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

To learn more about Macauley’s story you can see his story with Global Okanagan from July 2020 here  as well as the story from May 2021 here.



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