By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

Gov. Sam Brownback has awarded a Hays nonprofit $164,405 as part of $4 million distributed statewide for the 2015 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services Grant program.

Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services will use the award to enhance operations. The funds are vital, said Kathy Wallert, president of Options' board of directors.

"We are thrilled that we got that," she said. "We use it for direct services to the clients like face-to-face counseling, the shelter services, transportation, outreach programs, and we provide information to 18 counties throughout western Kansas."

Options also has an advocate at Fort Hays State University to serve students. Its staff engages the public at events and shares tips on how to address issues such as harassment.

The nonprofit accepts donations.

Visit www.help4abuse.org for more information.