A Somalian mother and son have been living on a high street bench for three years after turning down two-bedroom flats in London.
Wandsworth Council has desperately tried to rehouse them and offered them two refurbished properties in Tooting, south west London, which typically cost £1,500 a month.
But the pair chose to remain on the bench despite last-ditch pleas from their family and members of the local Somalian community.
The mother and son have been surviving thanks to the generosity of locals who give them food and water outside Tooting Library.
The were photographed making themselves sandwiches while they sat down and rested their feet on their suitcases
The man, believed to be in his 20s, was photographed receiving a bottle of water from a passerby outside the church in Tooting, south west London
The mother and son sleep underneath a tarpaulin and wake up having spent on the bench on the busy high street
The mother and son have been living on the streets since they were evicted from their flat in Tooting
The council offered them a refurbished two-bedroom flat just off Tooting High Street (pictured) – but they turned it down
Photographs show the pair sitting on the bench throughout the day before they finally pull a tarpaulin over them just after midnight.
Each day the pair can be seen speaking to people as they relax on the bench surrounded by blankets and their suitcases.
The mother, believed to be in her 60s, was also seen using an umbrella to shield herself from the sunlight on the busy high street.
Her son, thought to be in his 20s, was pictured receiving a bottle of water from a passerby.
The couple were evicted from their property in Tooting back in 2014 and have been on the street ever since.
A source told MailOnline that charities, members of their family, the police and people from the local Somalian community have all failed to get them off the bench.
The most recent property they have been offered was just off Tooting High Street and two bed properties typically cost £1,500 per calendar month.
It comes with a newly-fitted kitchen and bathroom, but the couple declined the offer and prefer to remain on the bench.
The council described the situation as being a ‘difficult and complex case’ and said the mother and son ‘will not accept any offers’.
The flat the mother and son turned down had a open plan kitchen and dining room (pictured)
The council offered them the flat (pictured), but they chose to remain outside the library
This is one of the bedrooms inside the flat that the couple turned down – and they didn’t even look at it
Every night the couple relax on the bench and usually pull the tarpaulin over themselves just after midnight
A Wandsworth Council spokesman: ‘This is a very difficult and complex case involving two people who simply will not accept any of the offers of help they have received from the many different agencies and charities who have been involved in trying to find a solution to this problem.
‘The council offered them two very pleasant and fully refurbished two-bedroomed flats in Tooting that they could have moved into straight away – but they turned both down without even looking at them.
‘If people refuse to accept offers of help then that is their decision and their choice. We cannot force people to accept our help.
‘Since this issue arose we have repeatedly tried to engage with them but these efforts have all been rebuffed.
‘We have enlisted the help of their extended family and representatives of the local Somali community, but no-one has been able to persuade them to come in off the streets.
‘We are of course enormously concerned for their welfare and are continuing to closely monitor the situation and offer support in the hope that they change their minds.’
Two young men walked past the mother and son as they were still asleep first thing in the morning
The mother and son wake up in the morning and crawl out from underneath the plastic sheet
Locals living in Tooting, south west London, have been helping the mother and son out by giving them food and water
They spend most of their days sat next to each other on the bench and speak to people as they walk past
The son, who is in his 20s, typically spends his evenings listening to music while his mother sleeps next to him