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Threshold Housing Link helped ‘rescue’ ex-breakdancer
A FORMER breakdancer whose life spun out of control is back on his feet thanks to the help of a homeless charity.
When Ross Bisley began to earn a living as a dancer at the age of 16, he thought he was set up for life, but 10 years later he found himself homeless.
Thanks to Swindon charity Threshold Housing Link he now has a new future and has gone back to college to get qualifications he missed out on at school.
A year ago Ross, 31, was homeless. He slept in skips and on park benches all over Swindon but he now has a roof over his head, and hopes to get a job in sales when his studies are over.
Ross grew up in Toothill, and at 16 he was earning a living as a breakdancer, performing all over the country with artists such as Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams and Ali G.
But he lost his way in life and credits Threshold Housing Link, the Swindon charity for the homeless, for rescuing him.
He said: “I can’t thank Threshold enough, I really was at rock bottom. I was totally lost and wanted to die.
“I shall never forget the day I walked in to Swindon Scarecrows Dance Group. One guy was doing a windmill on a basket ball. Everything went really fast. I stopped going to school. The Scarecrows took me to gigs in London. We performed all over the place.
“In 2002 I lost my girlfriend because of dance – I was never there, and when you’re a dancer there are lots of women, lots of groupies and I can’t blame her for leaving me. I hit the weed and it wasn’t a good thing.
“Then I stopped dancing with the Scarecrows and everything fell apart. I felt suicidal. The only thing that seemed to work was weed. I fell out with my mum. Everything spiralled out of control. I burned myself out and I didn’t know how to get out of it.
“I was homeless for six years, sofa surfing, sleeping rough and living from my backpack.”
It was a search on the internet for somewhere to live that turned his life around. Ross ended up in a Salvation Army hostel for five days in an emergency bed, and was then transferred to Culvery Court, the direct access hostel for homeless men run by Threshold Housing Link which provides a safe environment, two cooked meals a day and respite from the pressures of living on the streets.
“The staff at Threshold were brilliant. They helped me with my medication. They hooked me up with a doctor, a dentist and an optician. They gave me options that I never knew I had. ”
He says he is a new person, studying maths, English, IT and business at Swindon College.
He said: “I’ve now got the same drive for education as I had for dance. I never want to let dance take over again. It’s just brought me unhappiness.”
A spokesman for Threshold said Ross’s story wasn’t unusual. He said: “People find themselves homeless for many reasons – it’s a myth that homeless people are to blame for their own predicament.”