BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise officials are worried about a growing homeless encampment in downtown as the city waits for a federal judge's ruling on its anti-camping ordinance.

KBOI-TV reports that a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bieter says the tent city is a public health and safety challenge. He says the Postal Service does not feel safe delivering mail in the area. Legal advocates sued the city and the Boise Police Department in 2009 on behalf of eight homeless residents who had been arrested or cited for violating Boise's rules against sleeping in public.

The group contends that the ordinances criminalize homelessness because shelters are often full, forcing homeless residents to sleep in parks or other public spaces. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush heard arguments on both sides in August.