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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The beating death of Mark Pridmore shines light on a larger problem in the homeless community.

The homeless are more susceptible to injuries and crime, but they are less likely to report them to the proper authorities.

More than 24 hours passed before the 40-year old received medical attention.

Police say Pridmore was involved in a fight with 18-year-old Berhe Xavier Starling last Thursday near a gas station located at 4302 University Drive.

He died Saturday as a result of his injuries from the fight, but his life might have been saved has he received treatment sooner.

First Stop board member Ann Marie Lang says many homeless are uneasy when it comes to reaching out to either their local law enforcement or medical professionals.

“They don’t want to be part of the system and they’re afraid that they’re going to get in trouble,” said Lang.

Organizations, like First Stop, work with Huntsville’s homeless and encourage them to seek help, whether hurt or the victim of a crime.

“We slowly, but surely, try to gain their trust and gain their confidence, so that we can bring them to social services groups that are professionally equipped and able to help them with their problems,” said Lang.

First Stop continues to nurture its bonds with the homeless to, hopefully, help avoid tragedies, like the beating death of Pridmore, in the future.

“These folks can be helped, it just takes, maybe, a little bit more effort,” said Lang.

First Stop currently has four case managers who interact with the homeless, but it would like to add two more.

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