October 21, 2015
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- St. George resident Rachel Granfield, staff attorney in the Housing Unit of Staten Island Legal Services (SILS), is being honored by the Staten Island NFP Association.
The Staten Island NFP Association will be hosting the fifth annual Community Service Awards on Nov. 15 to honor those who tirelessly serve their communities.
Before joining SILS, Granfield worked at Northeast Legal Aid in Massachusetts and represented primarily homeless and at-risk families and veterans in a wide variety of legal matters.
Whether executing an outreach plan for Staten Island Legal Services' new housing unit, logging countless hours in housing court, or being lauded for providing compassionate support to domestic violence victims, Granfield never seeks or expects recognition.
Why did you choose this career?
"I think my whole life was leading me toward it," she said. "I didn't start practicing law until I was 35, and there's no single reason I can give for why I left a career in book publishing and went to law school."
She added: "A few clear turning points were: the D.A. in Georgia who was prosecuting my mother and embodied compassionate problem-solving in the practice of law; reading the NYC Housing Maintenance Code for the first time when I needed repairs in my apartment that my landlord refused to make; and stopping the eviction of two Katrina survivors when I was an intern at Mississippi Center for Justice."
What does this honor mean to you?
"SILS's housing unit is less than a year old; yet in that short time I feel that we've made a significant impact in access to justice for low-income tenants on Staten Island," she said. "I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of all who share our commitment to equity in housing and the courts."
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
In her spare time, Granfield enjoys traveling, reading and writing fiction, and exploring New York.
In the coming weeks, a profile of each honoree will be posted on SILive.com.
The awards ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Vanderbilt, South Beach. Tickets for the event are $55 per person and can be bought directly by calling 718-355-6228.