Founded in 2020, The Rust Belt Neighborhood Development Corporation is a 501(c)(3) not for profit Community Development Corporation (CDC) focused on developing neighborhoods and communities in West Dayton that have been victims of failed public policy, discriminatory housing practices, and historic disinvestment. Our investment strategy is guided by renown Urban Planning researcher Alan Mallach, Brookings Institute fellow Andre Perry, the late Miami University Professor Thomas Dutton, Jane Jacobs, and others whose strive to advocate for distressed communities.

“The most radical thing I ever did was to stay put”

Grace Lee Boggs

Meet our Founder

ShoMari Payne was born in Dayton, Ohio and is the author of the memoir, Pain is a Stimulus, which chronicles his oppressive childhood, disinvested neighborhood, and experience navigating a high-poverty school system. He is passionate about social justice, affordable housing, anti-gentrification efforts, education reform, and fostering community. He is motivated to revitalize the region of the U.S known as the “Rust Belt.”

Despite being identified as intellectually gifted in elementary school, ShoMari barely graduated high school with too many D’s, F’s, and absences to his credit. In this powerful talk, Shomari shares how his home life affected him as a student at school. His home was overrun with his mother’s hoarding. He was fed with snack foods from the corner store, and kept his few items of clothing in a plastic trash bag to keep the bugs out.

He is the founder of the Rust Belt Neighborhood Development Corporation and has served the city of Dayton as an advocate for first-generation college students at Sinclair Community College since 2014. ShoMari earned his MBA at Miami University and is currently pursuing a PhD at Miami University in Educational Leadership. He is also the Head Varsity Golf Coach at Stivers High School. 

Our Mission

To create a stable, safe and vibrant West Dayton community by building partnerships that provide homeownership opportunities, job training, economic development, community education and advocacy.