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GREAT WESTERN ANNOUNCES 1992 HOUSING AWARDS; ORLANDO HOUSING GROUP RECEIVES $50,000 GRANT

 LAKE WORTH, Fla., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Great Western Bank today named the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida Inc., an Orlando, Fla.-based non-profit housing organization, as a winner of its 1992 Housing Award.
 As part of the company's long-standing commitment to promote affordable housing, Great Western selected the Coalition to receive a $50,000 grant to support its efforts to provide housing to low-income people.
 Great Western this year awarded grants totaling $275,000 to five non-profit, community-based housing groups in Florida and California, the largest allocation since the awards began in 1987. Florida organizations have received $250,000 since the program was expanded to the state two years ago. The nation's leading lender in low- and moderate-income and minority communities, Great Western has contributed $1.25 million over the life of the program. The 1992 recipients were selected from among 101 organizations applying for the award.
 The Coalition plans to use its grant to fund operating expenses for a newly renovated nine-unit apartment that provides transitional housing for families. The Coalition, established in 1987, maintains a 3.3-acre complex in Orlando that also includes a 500-person pavilion shelter and a 200-person multipurpose center for the homeless.
 "This is a wonderful Christmas present for the hundreds of families that need decent housing while they heal from the pain of homelessness and get ready for the transition back to independence," Coalition President Michael Poole said.
 Other Great Western Housing Award grant recipients are Centro Campesino Farmworker Center Inc. of Homestead, Fla. ($75,000), Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles Inc. ($50,000), the Skid Row Housing Trust of Los Angeles ($50,000) and the Mission Housing Development Corp. of San Francisco ($50,000).
 The Great Western Housing Award was created to honor the late Leslie N. Shaw Sr., Great Western's vice president and director of community development for 16 years. It recognizes and supports the work of non-profit organizations that expand or improve the affordable housing stock in communities where Great Western employees and customers live and work.
 "We're especially pleased this year to expand the size of our housing awards program, and proud that it has surpassed the $1 million mark," said James F. Montgomery, chairman and chief executive of Great Western Financial Corp. (NYSE: GWF). "These organizations have been particularly effective in meeting the critical needs in their communities for affordable housing and related services. Their work shows how much can be accomplished through the cooperation and partnership among private enterprise, local government and community groups."
 With $38.5 billion in assets, Great Western Financial Corp. operates more than 1,100 mortgage lending, retail banking and consumer finance offices nationwide. The company's principal subsidiary, Great Western Bank, is a home-mortgage-oriented consumer bank that operates banking branch networks in California and Florida.
 -0- 12/17/92 R
 /CONTACT: Gordon Turner, 407-642-5583, or Sharon Butler, 818-775-3650, both of Great Western/
 (GWF)


CO: Great Western Bank; Great Western Financial Corp. ST: California, Florida IN: FIN SU:

MS-JL -- LA024 -- 7996 12/17/92 21:06 EST
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Date:Dec 17, 1992
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