LIHUE — In a July 18, 2016 letter to The Garden Island, Mark Segreti wrote that homeless need help “before more die from neglect, illness or just give up.”
“We are homeless but not hopeless. And we are blessed each day from above and by helping each other. But we need refuge, assistance and hope. My heart goes out to many that suffer from mental illness or heath issues. Those in charge of our island need to address those needs and issues before more die from neglect, illness or just give up.”
On Thursday morning, Mark Andrew Segreti, 56, was found dead in Lihue.
His body was discovered on the sidewalk fronting the Kauai Community Federal Credit Union building on Hardy Street about 4 a.m.
Police do not suspect foul play, and the results of an autopsy are pending, according to a county press release.
Pastor Bruce Baumgartner of Calvary Chapel Lihue said Segreti was known to local clergymen as a homeless individual who was always respectful and kind when he came to church.
During the church’s anniversary celebration at a park last year, Baumgartner said Segreti helped set up for the service, even staying overnight, acting as a security guard for the church’s belongings.
Baumgartner said his church stored some of Segreti’s belongings and they were happy to do so, because Segreti was always willing to help them out.
“He was very respected, very polite,” Baumgartner said. “He was respected by the homeless community.”
Segreti, reported to have served in the Marines, often wrote letters to the editor at The Garden Island newspaper about homelessness.
In a letter published Dec. 10, 2016, Segreti states that he’d been off island for medical attention, but he was now back, wanting to help the homeless. He mentions having lost all of his personal belongings, apartment and job and that it was time to start over.
“At King’s Chapel in Hanamaulu, the dome is down and construction on their new chapel is beginning,” he wrote. “Also, I was invited to the church last week and besides great singing and a play by the youth, the people of the church, young and seniors, made me feel so welcomed and when they heard of my homeless situation, some actually left then came back with clothes, blanket, forms to fill out for assistance and jobs. The next day while sitting at the bus stop reading the newspaper, many stopped to say ‘aloha’ and brought more food. Their generosity definitely came from the heart.”
In a March 3, 2017 letter, he wrote:
“Such a sad situation here in Lihue. I am homeless. Along with many of my Street ohana we have been exposed to much absence of the aloha spirit. I was hospitalized for internal bleeding and head injury recently that required five staples and sustained a concussion.”
In a letter to the editor published on March 27, Segreti pleads for other homeless to be respectful.
“So please, street ohanas, curb your rudeness and habits and keep our businesses clean. There are always places to go like the port-a-potties, gas stations and businesses that are open. Stop and be respectful. Stop ruining it for the rest of us homeless.”
According to TGI arrests reports, Segreti was arrested three times in March, for criminal trespass 2; disorderly conduct and criminal property damage. He was also listed in TGI’s arrest reports for a July 2016 arrest for theft 2.
The Parks and Recreation Department announced Wednesday it was limiting hours at some county facilities due to vandalism and complaints about suspicious activities.
The overnight closures included areas of Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, Lihue County Park, the county lawn in front of the Historic County Building and Kalena Park.
Homeless are known frequent these sites.
In a June 16, 2016 letter to TGI, Segreti wrote:
“I and many are blessed but still struggle with our situation. Have some pity folks. It could be you.”