11/30/2014 02:00 EST | Updated 01/29/2015 05:59 EST

Joshua Smith packs lunches for the homeless

For three years, Traci Smith and her son Joshua have been packing gift lunches for people in the Downtown Eastside. 

But this is more than charity.

Traci hopes the experience will help Joshua empathize with members of their family who are struggling with addiction and mental illness. 

They spoke to Gloria Macarenko of Our Vancouver.