She told KCBS Radio she knew their struggle first hand.
"I had cycled in and out of many county jails, both here in the Bay Area and in Southern California," Carter said.
That experience led her to create a nationally recognized model that provides different types of housing to homeless families in Southern California recovering from incarceration, substance abuse and mental health issues.
Now, that help is available for women in the Bay Area as well, at a five-bedroom home in Hayward that Carter has dubbed "Brighter Futures."
It is her contention that housing is the most important factor in turning lives around.
"If we're going to truly eliminate homelessness for women and their children and help these women who are reuniting with their children in a safe and nurturing environment, we need to create the housing they need," she said.
The home in Hayward is just the start of Carter's plans for the Bay Area. She's currently looking at additional property in Hayward to build a 32-unit affordable housing complex for women and their families.
"I have identified some land that's there that's just right to be developed," she said.
Meantime, Carter is already fulfilling goals at Brighter Futures.
"We just last month had one woman receive her child back," she said. "She hadn't been with her baby girl for over eleven months."