SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio native Kyle Stiles dreamt of a long career in the Marines, but life had other plans.

“I’m proud of the time and the honor of getting the chance to serve my country,” Stiles said. “I would have been retired two years ago. I was discharged about three months after I received the lance corporal certificate due to the hardship with my mother at the time.”

In the 20 years since his discharge, the 44-year-old Marine veteran has faced mental health, employment and now housing struggles with his eviction imminent.

Marine veteran Kyle Stiles. (Spectrum News 1/Dylan Scott)

“I’ve just been trying, trying, trying to stay afloat,” Stiles said. “I fell behind about three months and unfortunately I’m going to lose this nice apartment here.”

Stiles is not alone. Up to 2,000 Texas service members wonder where they’ll sleep nightly, with state and government aid a continuously difficult process.

“I still don’t know where I’m going to go,” Stiles said. “Kind of heartbreaking, makes you want to give up but I’ve been through too much in life to give up.”

Texas Veterans Commission Director of Mental Heath Blake Harris says the issue right now is bigger than just writing checks. Organizations like the TVC are committed to getting veterans off the streets longterm.

“There’s no one solution that’s going to fix veteran homelessness,” Harris said. “Having to collaborate and coordinate, get the community of stakeholders to rally around and not just get someone into a house, but focus on how they can sustain that housing after they obtain it. That includes employment, utilities and all sorts of things to get people back on their feet.”

Marine Veteran Kyle Stiles. (Spectrum News 1/Dylan Scott)

TVC Homeless Veterans Coordinator Anthony Bustos believes society can help play a crucial part, too.

“At times you can’t get an apartment if you don’t have employment and you can’t get employment if you don’t have an address to send your checks to,” Bustos said. “It’s kind of like you need the chicken before the egg, but how do you get the chicken one?”

As for Stiles, he and his loyal companion Gavin hope change is quickly on the horizon. For them, time is of the essence.

“I’m doing everything I can, make sure I’m safe, but we’re running out of time,” Stiles said.