I was at the Employment and Social Services office and they gave me a leaflet that contains a list of useful numbers to call. One of the numbers is for Central Intake. It is for homeless individuals and families who are in need of emergency shelter.

Does central here means it's an office that has power or control over other parts? What about intake, what does it mean?

I couldn't find an appropriate definition from the dictionaries.

2 Answers 2


Merriam-Webster Unabridged says:

intake, n. 3a : the act, process, or an instance of taking in

specifically : initial procedures (as interviews) conducted by a social worker, juvenile-court officer, or clinician in considering a client for treatment or service

Central Intake is apparently the main location for processing in those applying for emergency shelter.

  • For some reason I like this definition better. I actually tried calling the number and pretended to be a homeless and they did actually conduct a series of interviews asking me questions like my name, where I live, my financial situation, etc.. to see if I'm eligible for shelter.
    – Theo
    Aug 8, 2013 at 16:28

Intake: an act of taking people into an organization.

It seems likely that "Central Intake" controls the admission of the homeless and those requiring shelter into suitable emergency accommodation.

  • 1
    Still sounds like a ventilation duct for central air to me. :)
    – tchrist
    Aug 8, 2013 at 16:02

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